ABC7 Unite: ‘Tools & Tiaras’ New York City workshop introduces girls to plumbing trade

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) — A group of young girls from New York City-based nonprofit Tools & Tiaras attended a plumbing workshop sponsored by LIXIL Americas in Midtown on Thursday.

Tools & Tiaras is committed to fostering young girls’ interest in traditionally male-dominated industries, including those who may want to become an electrician, carpenter, plumber or even auto mechanic.

As part of the multi-day camp, which teaches girls through hands-on construction projects, campers will experience a plumbing workshop led by Tools & Tiaras founder Judaline Cassidy.

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“These jobs pay very well and they are very rewarding,” Cassidy said. “I used to be the only woman on the entire construction site on the construction site. Not just the plumber, but the only woman. And I really wanted a lot more women to know that they have no college degree.”

Armed with plumbing knowledge, the campers will have their own opportunity to practice installing kitchen and bathroom faucets supplied by American Standard.

“It’s just fun,” said camper Robbie Zito-Ferraro. “Tomorrow we’re going to a real construction site.”

The event helps bring the Tools & Tiaras mission to life to empower girls to lead and succeed.

“We have free workshops for women and girls every month,” Cassidy said. “We teach them architecture, welding, auto mechanic, engineering, coding, iron welding, everything. And we don’t just teach them the trade, we teach them finance… yoga, mediation, that sort of thing. They do a lot of other things. “

Through workshops and camps, Tools & Tiaras’ mission is to change the way our society views and portrays what ‘women’s work’ is.

Currently, women represent less than 10% of construction workers.

“Tools and Tiaras is one of those organizations that guides and encourages women and young girls to realize they can do the work men do,” said Debbie Drury, communications director of LIXIL Americas. “Jobs have no genders.”

Plumbers retire faster than they can be replaced, and for every person who enters the trade, five retire.

One possible solution to this shortage could be women, especially given that in 2020 only 2.3% of plumbers, pipe fitters and steam fitters in the US were women.

“It was really cool when we were working with sheet metal and we were folding it, because I never knew you could fold a piece of metal with your hands,” said camper Paige Brown. “It makes you feel more confident and it makes you feel, oh you can do it too, and it’s really empowering and inspiring to see a woman doing a job you want.”

LIXIL Americas is committed to making a positive impact in the communities it serves and has supported programs that encourage the practice of plumbing as a profession.

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The alignment of the two organizations is part of LIXIL’s Trade Up efforts, a platform created to narrow the growing skilled labor gap in the US and inspire more people to pursue plumbing as a viable career option. .

CLICK HERE for more information about Tools & Tiaras, and HERE for more information about LIXIL’s Trade-Up program.

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