Program held to inspire more young women to pursue careers in construction

Hard Hat Girls and Women of Jackson County provides career opportunities.
WAFF 48's Savannah Sapp reporting
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:06 PM CST
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JACKSON CO., Ala. (WAFF) - The Hard Hat Girls and Women of Jackson County are working hard to make a difference.

The program, formed by the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce, shares career opportunities in construction to young women in Jackson County Schools.

Thursday morning, members met with local companies, most of whom are desperate to find more workers.

Founder and CEO of P and C Construction Royce Cornelison has been attending this annual event since the start, and he’s pleased to see more women taking interest.

“It’s very encouraging to me to see that there is... The numbers are increasing, we’re getting more young people and young women encouraged to come into the construction career,” Cornelison said.

This year’s session had three times as many young women as the 2022 meet-up! Junior McKenzie McIntire says more women should try their hand in this male-dominated field.

“I think women underestimate themselves about certain things like this kind of stuff because they see men doing it all the time and they think ‘oh yeah probably i can’t do that’. So i think people should just get out there and try,” McIntire said.

“If you think you can put your mind to it, don’t hesitate. Know what you’re capable of,” said Junior Hailey Myers.

The students heard testimony from professionals like Erica Estes, owner of Southern Heating and Cooling. Sophomore Kylie Marcumb says Estes inspired her.

“It’s very seldom that you see a woman own a company like that. I think a lot of women could learn from what she had to say today,” Marcumb said.

Nancy Griggs , director of Hard Hat Girls, is in charge of putting on the two sessions at the Kevin Dukes Career and Innovation Academy.

She says over 90 girls were in attendance this year, and she hopes to bring in even more in the coming year.

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