Aroostook County – New Ventures Maine is offering a hands-on, day-long event designed to encourage girls to consider careers in fields traditionally filled more predominantly by males. The Totally Trades Conference is expected to bring together approximately 150 participants from schools throughout Aroostook County on Wednesday, April 10, to the Northern Maine Community College campus.
The Totally Trades Conference will feature sessions ranging from carpentry and heavy equipment operation to wind power and computer and networking technology, all providing an opportunity for the students to experience some aspect of the profession through a practical exercise.
“Totally Trades offers hands-on workshop experiences in nontraditional careers for females to girls throughout Aroostook County. We are pleased that after 15 years, this event not only still attracts and interests students county-wide, but has continued to grow over time. The conference provides an opportunity for female students to explore careers they may have not considered for themselves. We want attendees to open their thinking and remove the potential barrier of gender, when considering careers for the future,” said Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau, conference planner and regional manager of the Central Aroostook office of New Ventures Maine, a statewide organization committed to helping Maine people succeed in their workplace, business, and community.
The conference is a free, one-day event for Aroostook County girls in grades 8 through 12. Funding for the activity is made possible through monies and in-kind services provided by the Maine Department of Education (Career and Technical Education), the Maine Department of Transportation, the Cynthia McMullen Fund, and K-PEL Industrial Services, Inc., as well as other local and statewide sponsors.
The conference is generously supported by the NMCC campus community, which serves as the host site for the event, and is a featured activity during the College’s recognition of April as Community College Month.
“NMCC is very pleased to continue our long partnership with New Ventures Maine as a supporter of the Totally Trades Conference. This important project provides unique opportunities for female students to learn about great career options,” stated Kent DeMerchant, Student Support Specialist at NMCC.
Conference registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Gym. Following an official welcome, participants will break into the first of two sessions focusing on a specific career. A large group engineering activity will wrap up the day.
Individuals seeking more information on the Totally Trades conference can go to www.totallytradesmaine.org or contact Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau at 768-9635.
Editor’s Note: Members of the media interested in covering the conference are encouraged to come to the Gym at 11:00 – 11:15 a.m. when conference organizers and participants will be available for interviews. Photography/videography opportunities will be provided immediately following the interviews in the second career workshop clusters at 11:45, or during the large group activity scheduled at 1:00 PM in the gym.