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Lewiston Trades for MEintroduces 8th grade girls to trades

LEWISTON, ME—The Lewiston Trades for ME conference welcomed girls in eighth grade to learn about careers in the trades. Schools sending students to the conference included Philip W. Sugg Middle School (Lisbon), Bruce M. Whittier Middle School (Poland); Oak Hill Middle School (Sabattus), Lewiston Middle School Auburn Middle School, and Tripp Middle School (Turner). The conference was hosted by New Ventures Maine (NVME) and Lewiston Regional Technical Center (LRTC) and was held at LRTC.

A dozen workshops were held—from Automotive Technology and Building Construction to Criminal Justice, Firefighting, and Welding—which provided an opportunity for girls and gender-expansive youth to experience trade professions through hands-on activities, presentations, and demonstrations.

Students created home layout designs, put cars on lifts, built wall shelves, learned about crime scene investigation, wired electrical switches, practiced firefighting techniques, and used torches and metals to solder copper into shapes to take home.

Conference participants commented on their experiences after the event:

“I learned that jobs that are usually known to be for males can be for women too. I had a lot of fun and wow, it was better than I expected.”

“I enjoyed how “hands-on” the experience was and how we got to do a lot of things.”

“I really enjoyed the hands-on experiences that were given….I also enjoyed hearing first-hand how others felt during their time at LRTC.”

Trades for ME conferences are designed to highlight careers in which women are traditionally underrepresented. “This is an opportunity for students to explore career possibilities in the trades,” said Chris Morin, NVME Workforce Specialist and Trades for ME conference organizer. “The students meet women who are working in jobs that may not be on their radar and connect with career opportunities in their county and around the state.”

Conference admission is free. Funding for Trades for ME is provided by Maine Career and Technical Education/MaineDOE (utilizing federal Carl D. Perkins funds) and the Maine Department of Transportation. Additional support and in-kind contributions are provided by businesses and community partners, including Oxford Federal Credit Union, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Spectrum, Darling’s, and Consigli Construction.

For more information visit the Trades for ME website at or contact Chris Morin at or 207-753-6531.

Photo courtesy of New Ventures Maine

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