Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls is a program designed for high school age girls to attend a free week-long camp to explore the construction trades, architecture, engineering, and construction materials manufacturing through hands-on experiences and field trips. The second annual camp was held the week of July 9th at the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Eastern Pennsylvania’s training center in Allentown, PA.
This year, Kevin Klersy and Mike Plocinik of ATAS’ Technical Services Department spent an afternoon with the campers, demonstrating the installation of the Colonial Seam standing seam metal roof panel, as well as the Advanta Shingle metal roof shingle. Last year, at the inaugural event, the campers toured ATAS’ headquarters and main production facility in Allentown.
The Let’s Build camp was created in 2017, the result of a collaborative effort between the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter, the ABC Eastern PA Chapter, and the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Lehigh Valley Affiliate. The objectives of this camp include:
- Provide girls an opportunity to explore a career in the construction industry.
- Experience the construction trades through hands-on learning and building.
- Learn about architecture, engineering, and manufacturing during construction-related field trips to area businesses.
- Develop greater self-esteem by teaching skills to solve challenging projects and successfully complete them.
- Provide inspiration and mentoring for girls to understand they have a place in the construction industry, and they can become successful leaders in the future.
- Develop a stronger workforce for the future of the construction industry.
Jon Lattin, immediate past president of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter of CSI, said he had heard about a similar construction camp for girls in the south and reached out to the CSI board members to see about starting one in the Valley. Once the board expressed interest, Lattin contacted Kristen Fallon, regional vice president of member services for ABC’s Eastern Pennsylvania chapter. “Other camps have been trade-based,” Lattin said. “We added some other activities so that they can see the whole process of construction, not just the building part of it. That’s why the organization is focused on bringing in architecture, engineering, and manufacturing, along with the construction trades, so the girls could see how everything is linked.”
Lee Ann M. Slattery, sales support manager for ATAS, and who was involved in the planning of the camp, stated, “ATAS was pleased to be involved in the camp again this year. We are a strong supporter of the development and training of students within the local community, and this is the perfect opportunity to allow the campers exploration of potential careers in the architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing industries.”