ABC Keystone All 'bout Construction Camp for Girls

July 22, 2021

By: Stephanie Larkin, Vice President of Education, Safety & Workforce Development

Though COVID-19 delayed some of ABC Keystone’s ongoing workforce development efforts, we recently made up for lost time.

The Spring Construction Wars event took place May 26, 27 and 28. The event was delayed from March to May, ensuring students and volunteer members could participate. Over the course of the three days, we hosted 108 students and more than 90 volunteers!

One benefit of the delay was a restructuring of the “Tool Demo” station. The station previously consisted of hammers, saws, sawhorses, plumb bobs and the like, and students would learn about the tools before trying them out. With the increased use of technology in our industry, the Workforce Development Committee opted to use the Tool Demo station to showcase a GPS unit and bulldozer. The feedback was positive, and we intend to increase the types of technology we showcase at future events. As always, my sincere thanks to everyone who supported the event, whether through sponsorship or the gift of your time!

Students attending ABC Keystone’s Construction Wars Career Exploration Event display hands-on projects they built.

A mere two weeks later we held a week-long event, All ‘bout Construction (ABC) Girls Camp. Running from June 14 through June 18, the full-day camp hosted 12 females from Lancaster County schools. Due to generous grant funding from the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board, each camper received camp t-shirts, a hoodie, and a Milwaukee tool bag full of Milwaukee and Klein tools they used to build their very own steampunk phone charger.

Campers visited three different job sites in various stages of completion and were treated to snacks along the way. Finally, our campers had the opportunity to work directly with female apprentices, discuss and explore career pathways, research the opportunities that exist in various careers, and hear directly from our female industry leaders. Camper feedback indicates we made inroads in helping the campers better understand the industry and the skilled trades, with some saying they will now consider a career in construction. We are absolutely thrilled with the outcomes and intend to host additional camps next summer. Stay tuned for more details!

ABC Keystone’s inaugural All ’bout Construction Girls Camp provided campers with the opportunities to visit member jobsites. Here, the girls attended a tour at a jobsite of Ames Construction, Inc.

We start another pre-apprenticeship cohort on June 28, and the summer session will be an intensive schedule, finishing by July 21. Some pre-apprenticeship graduates will most certainly seek sponsorship in registered apprenticeship, so I ask your consideration in supporting this young talent to build your team.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer!