“Girls Can Do Anything” – CBS Denver
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4) – Transportation & Construction GIRL Day returned for the fourth time in five years after the pandemic put it on hiatus in 2020. The annual event, which girls can attend for free, is hosted by the HOYA Foundation.
It aims to educate young women about careers in the male-dominated construction and transportation industries.
READ MORE: Ptarmigan fire: Hundreds still evacuated, new evacuations ordered after wildfire starts near homes in Summit County
Through the trial and error of flying a drone for the first time, Lilly Gonzales opened her eyes to new possibilities at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds on Tuesday.
“I almost got one stuck in a tree!” She exclaimed.
Other firsts for the 9-year-old include welding and concrete making. Never had his hopes of becoming an electrician or an engineer seemed so attainable.
“I just love taking things apart and rebuilding creative things, especially in Minecraft. It’s like my favorite game,” Gonzales said.
“This kind of shows me that I can do anything.”
Gonzales was one of hundreds of girls and young women who attended Girls’ Transportation and Construction Day. The event aims to show young women ages 8-23 who have never considered a career in the transportation and construction industry.
READ MORE: Former Idaho Springs Police Officer Nicholas Hanning faces civil trial over controversial separate arrest
“Last year the construction and transportation industry was a critical industry, so we kept working and we still need more employees,” said Keller Hayes, director of Transportation & Construction GIRL.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up just 10.9% of employees in the construction industry in 2020, an increase from 2016, when the figure was 8%.
Hayes says the opportunities are plentiful for women and the jobs can be lucrative. Part of his organization’s mission is to relay this message to a younger audience.
“There are so many opportunities and they are well paid,” said Hayes. “In the construction industry, you get 99 cents on the dollar for work comparable to that of men, compared to 82 cents on the dollar. “
Employers held dozens of hands-on exhibitions on Tuesday in hopes of creating a lasting spark for attendees. The next challenge will be to maintain it so that more new faces pursue careers on the road.
“Girls can do anything, even when it’s difficult,” Gonzales said.
NO MORE NEWS: Weather in Denver: Cooler temperatures set in quickly
“We want you in this industry, how can we help you get into this industry,” Hayes said.