June 14th, 2024

Young women exploring trades through CAREERS

By Lethbridge Herald on April 22, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Ryan Talbot helps Jenna Chomiak, Karuna Rai, Isabelle Gutierrez and Aimee Arenas as they install a window on a tiny home as part of their CAREERS camp hands-on experience Thursday at the Teacup Tiny Homes shop. 
Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com
CAREERS The Next Generation with support from local companies are giving the opportunity for female-identifying youth in the community to explore trades, related technologies and agriculture. 
Today we’re at Teacup Tiny Homes with Jenn and her team, and they’re kind of taking us through the process of building a tiny home and the students get to see all the stages as well as right now they’re putting in a window,” said Saroeun Keuth-Ray, CAREERS regional manager. 
During a press event on Thursday, she said the youth careers organization promotes in demand occupations and skilled trades are very high in demand at the moment. 
“There’s going to be a huge skilled labour shortage, so it’s important to educate and create awareness about that, and even more important is exposing young women to these opportunities specifically in southern Alberta,” said Keuth-Ray.
She said there are many employers who are very supportive in giving young women the opportunity to get into a more male-dominated industry.
“It’s important to give them that chance and if they are needing to fill that gap, may as well use these wonderful young ladies who have that desire and abilities to do it,” said Keuth-Ray. 
She said they work with all the schools in southern Alberta and the group of students that was at Teacup Tiny Homes Thursday, had students from Catholic Central High School and Winston Churchill High School. 
“They are on their Easter break, so they came here on their own to learn about these opportunities,” said Keuth-Ray. 
She said that if any of them wanted to pursue a paid internship over the summer, many of the employers they were going to visit for the camp are willing to hire them. 
One of the students present was Jenna Chomiak, a grade 12 student at Catholic Central High School who said she really enjoyed the hands on experience offered at Teacup Tiny Homes. 
“We got to install one of the windows into a house which is really cool. We got to see the entire process and really have a hands-on experience, which I feel it’s very valuable,” said Chomiak. 
She said that the camp was a great experience as a whole, because girls her age do not get opportunities like that, to experience the different choices that are out there to choose from after high school. 
“I feel like it was a very good experience to have our foot in the door of what we might want to do or we might want to pursue afterwards,” said Chomiak. 
She said she enjoyed the window installation the most as it has to do with construction and when she was little her favourite toy was the building blocks and her grandfather was a contractor, so she has always been interested in building something. 
“I have always been interested in building things because I feel like it gives you a sense of accomplishment, and to build houses is something that is so valuable because it provides someone a home,” said Chomiak. 
Owner of Teacup Tiny Homes, Jennifer McCarthy, said she was happy to show the students how many people are involved in building a tiny home, to show them that there are so many ways they can get involved, many options for them to chose from. 
She said that to be able to build a tiny home they have designers, draftsman, engineers, framers and painters among many other “moving parts.”  
“To be able to show that diversity and really show them that you can be anything, I think that’s really key. I grew up in an environment where women in the trades or women in construction work wasn’t seen as often, and because of that I think it makes me more passionate about making sure that they know there’s options,” said McCarthy.
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