FORGE camp paves way for girls in construction industry

MAYHEW, Miss. (WCBI) – FORGE is getting a head start on preparing the next generation of the workforce by showing them different opportunities that are available.

“We are super excited to have this small group. We can really concentrate on those hands-on skills and really learn, whether it is electrical, roofing, plumbing, or laying concrete like they are doing this morning,” said Melinda Lowe, FORGE Executive Director.

Lowe said she hopes the construction camp can at best help the girls find a career path, or at least feel confident about doing projects around their homes.

“Most of them are in middle school and about to go to high school. We want them to learn life skills that they can use, whether they want to go into a career in construction, or if they just want to help out around the house,” said Lowe.

Three camp participants said they hope they leave better prepared for their future.

“I want to weld, so knowing how to put these things together, I am pretty sure that this will help me better for welding,” said Sam Sanders, camper.

“I want to learn my life skills, so when I become an adult, I will know what to do,” said Amiya Magee, camper.

“I want to learn how to screw better because I was struggling just a minute ago. I also want to learn how to do stuff, because whenever I am older, I want to make my own company just like my dad. He works for G&G remodeling,” said Kaylee Gann, camper.

With jobs like plumbing and roofing more common for men, Lowe said she wants women to know that they can do the same jobs, that men can do.

“It is typically a group that is misrepresented in the construction industry. There are a lot of females out there who are working in this industry, and we want these young women to know that they have that opportunity if that is what they want to do,” said Lowe.

Lowe said she hopes to see more young ladies show up for next year’s girl’s construction camp, and she said she plans to make this, an annual event.

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