Representatives from 10 local industries spoke to the students about career opportunities for women. The students also received a tour of VC’s Industrial Training Center.
“We wanted to expose the girls to opportunities in industry,” VC Workforce and Continuing Education Director Sherri Pall said. “Many females believe jobs in industry are dominated by men, but that’s not true. So we brought women in from industries who actually perform these jobs to encourage these girls to think about a career in the industrial field.”
Industries participating in the event were Associated Builders & Contractors, BHP Billiton, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, Formosa, Industrial Merit Shop Education Foundation, INEOS, Infinity Maintenance, INVISTA and South Texas Electric Cooperative.
Victoria East High School Counselor Karen Groenhuyzen said she was encouraged from the students’ reactions to the event.
“I have attended many such events over my years as a counselor, but this one really took it to a different level,” Groenhuyzen said. “The speakers were so personable with the girls and showed a genuine interest in trying to connect with them. Also, the activities truly kept the students involved.
“More importantly, it was what I heard the girls say and the looks on their faces during the panel discussions. ‘I want to be able to support myself on my own,’ one young lady said at my lunch table. Other comments by the girls were, ‘No one is going to tell me I can't do something.’ ‘I know I could do this.’ ‘That career may be something I will consider.’ The girls that attended felt special and inspired.”
Victoria East student Janiece Sodia said the event exceeded her expectations.
“I would tell other students to come to this event because it is really fun and more interesting than you would think,” Sodia said. “I didn’t think it would be that interesting, but I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know anything about pipefitting, but I learned you can make good money as a pipefitter.”
Victoria College offers a variety of training options leading to industry-recognized credentials, certificates and associate degrees. Scholarship opportunities are available for many of the programs and courses.
For more information on VC’s Workforce and Continuing Education courses, call (361) 582-2528 or email AskCE@VictoriaCollege.edu.