North Country Report: BOCES looks to fill skill gap, and gender gap, all in one

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HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES says trade employers have a problem. It’s harder than ever to find workers who have the skills they need, like welding and auto repair. They see that as an opportunity.

On Thursday, BOCES held the second of two Women in Trades Days. Around 35 students from eight area school districts visited BOCES’ CTE center to hear from women business owners about what it means to be a woman in the trades; and what it means to have different expectations put on you, despite being able to do all the same jobs.

“First thing my instructor told me when I walked in – of course, I’m the only girl in the class – he says, ‘Watch out guys, there’s a girl here,'” recounted Chris Edgerly, owner of TruArc and Adirondack Mechanical Services. “Girls are the best welders.”

The girls there on Thursday got to see just what it would be like to be a welder. They also got to try out circular saws in the woodshop, take a look under the hood of some cars, and more. The program is a way to get new students to take part in BOCES mentorships that can lead to any number of jobs, from forestry to carpentry and anything in between.

In this week’s North Country Report:

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