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Girls-only construction camp giving insight into the industry

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Posted at 7:03 PM, Oct 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-17 19:04:40-04

INDIANAPOLIS— On Tuesday morning, girls in middle school and high school are spending their fall break at Area 31 Career Center.

They're here for a girls-only construction camp. It's the inaugural one hosted by the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation’s Build Your Future program.

"For the past two years I’ve been really thinking I want to get into architecture. I like building things like a lot, so I just think it would be really fun if it was my job to design buildings and get to go see them put up," said Allyson Inge, a participant.

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Inge and almost 30 other girls are learning about construction trades, hearing from women working in the industry, visiting construction sites, and gaining hands on experience.

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One of the women they're learning from is Hope Harp, who works for the Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters.

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"That early exploration is really a key. Kids already know maybe I’m not going to be able to go to college or maybe I don’t want to go to college knowing that there’s other opportunities for success out there," said Harp.

ICRF estimates more than 1,100 new workers will be needed in Indiana’s construction industry by 2026 because of looming retirements and increased demand due to a statewide construction boom. Nationally, women make up only 11% of the construction workforce overall, and only 4% of field staff.

"Letting women know hey it’s okay to work with your hands you can find a career and it’s very fulfilling. It’s been very fulfilling for me," said Harp.