Austin, TX (July 25, 2022) — Rosendin, the nation’s largest employee-owned electrical contracting company with offices in Texas, hosted a free week-long construction camp for 35 middle school girls in Austin. Camp NAWIC is a joint campaign with the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), started in 2019 to give girls a safe and supportive place to explore career paths in construction and gain hands-on learning experience.
“Rosendin is proud to sponsor and host Camp NAWIC for the third year because we want to empower young girls to try new experiences, learn to use power tools, and discover the joy and accomplishment that comes from building,” said Jolsna Thomas, a Rosendin employee and member of the company’s DEI Committee. “Young people begin considering career options in middle school, so it’s important to give these girls a supportive environment with instruction from inspiring women in the industry.”
Outfitted with a hard hat, safety glasses, and work gloves, first-year campers learned how to safely use power tools and gained knowledge and confidence in building. They spent the week constructing concrete planters, lamps, and dog houses for donation to Austin Animal Center. At graduation, they all received a contractor’s tool bag with a screwdriver kit, framing hammer, drill set, ratcheting multi-bit driver, locking pliers, and more to keep building at home
Second and third-year campers constructed bird houses, learned to weld, built solar battery kits for donation to Light for Literacy, and built greenhouses for donation to local schools and community gardens. Upon graduation, experienced campers received an M12 Multi-Tool, folding jab saw, level, and framing square to add to their tool bags.
“I was nervous to pick up a power tool, but the other campers were cheering me on, and the instructors told me everything I needed to do, and it worked out great. I am so proud of my project!” said Jessie Olmedo, first-year camper.
“This was my second year at Camp NAWIC. I learned so much I can’t wait to go home and try my new skills. I think this camp showed me that girls can do anything with the right guidance and support!” said Ariana Medina, a second-year camper.
Women account for 11% of the construction workforce and 3% of the craft workforce. As a shortage of construction workers continues to plague the industry, the need for women to fill these critical roles increases.
“Women across the country and throughout Texas are building our nation’s future as electricians, carpenters, engineers, plumbers, and architects but we still have a lot of work to do to break the stigma that construction is just for men,” said Justin Adair, Austin & San Antonio Training Coordinator for the Gulf Coast Carpenters & Millwrights Training Trust Fund. “Programs like Camp NAWIC and partners like Rosendin, Balfour Beatty, Compass Datacenters, IBEW 520, UA Local 286, and Milwaukee Tools play an important role in creating a welcoming environment by advocating for women’s issues and providing mentorship.”
Camp NAWIC Austin ran from July 18 – 22, 2022 with support from Austin’s construction industry that provided financial support as well as instructors, speakers, materials, and warehouse space. Classes were held at Austin’s Carpenter Training Center, a facility that provides one of the nation’s top carpenter training programs for the Central South Carpenters Regional Council. Campers also had field trips to Rosendin’s Pflugerville office and the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 286 facility.
Camp NAWIC Austin was sponsored by Rosendin, along with Balfour Beatty, Compass Datacenters, Gulf Coast Carpenters & Millwrights Training Trust Fund, IBEW 520, Milwaukee Tool, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 286, Cherry Coatings, JE Dunn Construction, Markel Surety, MORSCO, Ryan Companies USA, Central Texas Building Trades, LIUNA 1095, MW Builders, Rogers-O’Brien Construction, Sika USA, Texas AFL-CIO, MAPP, and United Rentals.