"It goes hand and glove with the governor's Go Build Georgia program and that's one of the commitments that Georgia Power has made to the governor is that we will find incentives to support his cause," said Janet Queen, maintenance specialist at Plant Bowen and a TWIG member. "... The goal for this camp is to make these girls who are at the point [where they are] making career decisions, to let them know there are options out there in the construction field for them because I think basically the construction jobs have been stereotyped as jobs for men. And there's just lots of opportunity out there for women and we want these girls who are making their career decisions to understand that this is a field where some of the higher paying jobs [are]."
During the five-day camp, students will receive hands-on instruction and listen to daily presentations from women professionals. Placing an emphasis on safety, tradeswomen will introduce them to a variety of skills, such as carpentry, welding and electrical. The camp also will include a TWIG-sponsored tour of Plant Bowen.
"I just think it's such a wonderful opportunity for these girls because ... I think they're going to be pleasantly surprised of the takeaways that they walk away with, [the] experience, and hopefully we're going to have girls who make that decision that this is an avenue that they would like to pursue in their career," Queen said. "And Georgia Power Plant Bowen TWIG would like to feel like they had been a big part of that."
At the end of the camp, there will be a banquet for the students and their parents and campers will be able to take home a tool box and their completed projects.
"The reason that we wanted to partner with Georgia Power is for really two reasons," said Paul Sabin, Bartow County School System's coordinator for career technical education. "Number one is because we want to be a community partner with industry and business and we want to build that relationship with business and industry and the school system. We definitely value the fact that we are developing and helping develop future employees for Georgia Power and other businesses and industries. So we want to definitely build that partnership.
"And the particular reason that we really were interested in getting more females involved in the construction and trades area is that is a growing area for employment. We see part of our goal for all of our students is to develop them so that they are ready to either go into a post secondary following high school or go into a career. So we want to help develop those students and particularly female students in the area of construction and what we would classify as non-traditional. And we want to encourage more students to get into the non-traditional fields. So that's a goal that we have as well as the [Georgia Department of] Education. They also have that same goal -- to get more students interested in non-traditional careers. I just appreciate the fact that Georgia Power and particularly Ms. Queen is willing to really spearhead this and be a part of our school system and make this opportunity available for our kids."
With MAGIC geared toward high school age females in Bartow, the camp's youngest participants need to currently be eighth-graders who are or will turn 14 by June 14. For more information, contact Queen at email@example.com or 770-606-6312. Forms need to be returned to the front offices of Adairsville, Cass or Woodland high schools.