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Girls ready to fly off to the next level

young girl outside in construction machine

Stephanie Wehner receives a firsthand lesson as an excavator during a demonstration on prepping at a job site.

The HOYA Foundation is an organization that works with the U.S. Department of Transportation to garner support for small businesses that work in the transportation and construction industries.  Based in Arvada, the nonprofit hosts an annual expo, Transportation and Construction Girl, a program that encourages young women to pursue careers to meet the workforce shortage in both fields.

According to the HOYA website, only 11% of the construction work force are women.

The expo, which was held at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, included videos, interactive webinars, contests and opportunities to meet one-on-one with successful women in the industry at no charge for any of the named programs.

DCS Montessori seventh grade girls were part of the 800 young women visiting this year’s expo.  The day provided the students an opportunity to meet with successful female architects, engineers, project managers, estimators, superintendents, carpenters, electricians and more.  In addition, participants visited 50 interactive exhibits from transportation and construction companies who believe women belong in the industry and who deserve financially rewarding jobs.

Maryn Gavi said the expo taught her that every woman should have confidence in what they are doing, and Charlotte Kubina felt that her experience showed that women do not just work at tough jobs, they thrive!

“Hoya” is the Hopi word for a dance that means “ready to fly off next.”  HOYA’s mission is to help girls fly off to that next level in their careers.

young girls in hard hats and construction vests

Howell Construction, a commercial construction firm, showed and gave the girls the opportunity to use orbital sanders that rotate themselves elliptically to create a smooth surface on wood, plastic or metal.

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of DCS Montessori



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