Construction camp for girls aims to revolutionize the industry

By Paige HaeffeleMarch 08, 2022

It’s no secret that construction is a predominantly male industry. According to the New England Institute of Technology, women only account for 10.9% of the entire workforce as of 2020. Though that is a 1.1% increase from the 9.9% in 2018, there is still progress to be made and a lot to be gained by an industry plagued by a skilled labor shortage.

The ‘Let’s Build’ Construction Camp for Girls is trying to lower that disparity between men and women in the traditionally male-dominated industry.

photo of girls working on building ‘Let’s Build’ Construction Camp for Girls offers a potential solution to the industry-wide skilled labor shortage

Founded by construction organizations Associated Builders and Contractors and Construction Specifications Institute, the program is designed for middle and high school aged girls to explore the construction trades, architecture, engineering and construction manufacturing through hands-on experiences and field trips.

The week-long camp is based in Pennsylvania, however the program attracts girls from ​all over the country and is free to families through the support of multiple sponsors. The 2022 event will be located in Allentown, June 20-24.

Empowering girls to build the world

The camp website says the mission of the program is to “ignite the spark within the girls to explore additional skill training in our local career technical schools, and post-secondary training with a local craft training program, two-year or four-year college path in engineering, architecture, construction management, or any other construction related major.”

“Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls started as a vision to introduce young girls to the construction industry and the overwhelming industry support and collaboration has allowed us to realize this mission,” says Jon Lattin, the camp’s co-founder. “As we plan our sixth year, we continue to offer technical skills training while indirectly providing life skills training that naturally evolves during the course of camp.” 

‘Let’s Build’ provides girls with an opportunity to explore careers in the construction industry by helping them experience construction trades through hands-on learning and building. They’ll gain information about architecture, engineering and manufacturing with construction-related field trips to area businesses, and develop greater self-esteem by acquiring skills to solve challenging projects and successfully complete them.

“This unique construction camp puts the power into the hands of the campers by giving them the chance to build physical structures in a team environment while also exploring complementary career opportunities through field trips, activities, and interactive discussions,” says Lattin. “The unique nature of Let’s Build organically teaches essential life lessons in leadership and communication while providing confidence in problem solving.”

According to Lattin, “the girls experience these realities of life in the safe environment of ‘Let’s Build’ and are shown that they have an important place in this broad industry.”

While girl campers are educated and inspired, the construction industry stands to gain through the development of a stronger, more diverse workforce for the future.

“Through a partnership with the CSI Foundation and continued collaboration with organizations like ABC, we are looking to expand the reach of ‘Let’s Build’ Construction Camp for Girls beyond the Lehigh Valley region,” says Lattin.

To become a camp sponsor, click here.

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