TAMPA - A new report says Florida has added more than 26,000 construction jobs over the past year. The second highest growth in the nation. A local employment training program is helping women to break into the traditionally male dominated field.
It's no secret that the construction industry is a field dominated by men, but the "Women Building Futures program" is equipping women with the skills they need to start a thriving career.
Kayla Gorman never imagined a career in construction. Gorman is one of a growing number of women in the Tampa area getting into the business.
"I never really had the skills or training or even the opportunity to even know where to start," Gorman to ABC Action News.
Gorman is one of a growing number of women in the Tampa area getting into the business.
"I've only kind of been qualified for retail jobs my whole life and that's minimum wage and minimum wage now days, especially being a single mother that doesn't get you very far," said Gorman.
Katherine Campbell-Heroux is the program director for the Women Building Futures program. The program gives the women hands on training in the construction trade, plumbing, and carpentry.
"This is a definite step up. If you're making 8 dollars and hour and all of a sudden you're making 12 dollars an hour, that's a 50-percent pay increase," said Campbell-Heroux.
A number of local trade businesses have also stepped up to the plate to train program participants. Instructors say construction companies are anxious to hire more women because they are such good employees.
"I would say that women are ready, they're ready and they're eager to have that opportunity," said program manager Luis Rodriguez.
As the construction industry here in Florida continues to boom you can expect to see more women like Gorman on those job sites.
"This opportunity has definitely helped me a lot because I'm making a lot more money and I'm doing something that I'm actually interested in and I feel like I'm making a difference," Gorman told ABC Action News.
For more information on the program call 813-232-3200, ext. 233 or click the link below.