Ari Laurel alaurel at ywcaofmissoula.org
Tue Jan 10 15:58:10 EST 2017


FOR:                    IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 1.03.17
FROM:                YWCA MISSOULA
CONTACT:         Margaret, 543-6691
SUBJECT:           “YWCA Missoula’s New GUTS! Program, GRIT”

MISSOULA – In 2014, women made up less than three percent of the construction and extraction workforce, and only five percent of all students enrolled in high school technical programs. However, trades careers offer excellent wages and personally fulfilling, meaningful work. In fact, the construction industry has one of the smallest gender wage gaps across all professions. That’s why YWCA Missoula’s GUTS<http://www.ywcaofmissoula.org/?q=node/6>! program (Girls Using Their Strengths) is introducing a unique new project called GRIT.
GRIT, or Girls Representing In Trades, engages, educates, and empowers young girls to explore trades and skill-based work as attainable and feasible careers—anything from construction, to auto mechanics, to welding. GRIT gives middle and high school girls* the opportunity to learn in a safe, supportive, and fun environment that lessens the intimidation and fear of failure that often exists in male dominated fields and prevents girls from continuing or pursuing their interests. The girls will visit local businesses and job sites to see those skills translated into established and rewarding careers, discuss stereotypes that exist against women in trades, and hear from women in different fields who have challenged and broken those stigmas.
“Through our conversations with teachers, business owners, laborers, students, and community members, we have realized how needed this program is. We want young girls to realize their career paths do not have to be strict and that trade skills can not only translate into excellent career options, but they are also beneficial in becoming self-sufficient and confident individuals,” says Margaret Hoyt, the AmeriCorps VISTA building this program.
YWCA Missoula has partnered with the Industrial Technology department at Missoula College to create this program, which is primarily funded through generous grants provided by the Women’s Foundation of Montana, the Arbonne Charitable Foundation and Montana Campus Compact.
GRIT’s first season of high school programs will start January 28, 2017 from 10:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Applications are due January 20. The middle school program is a five-day camp offered during spring break, March 20-24, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Applications are due March 6. Applications can be found at www.ywcaofmissoula.org<http://www.ywcaofmissoula.org>. GRIT program fees are $150 although various scholarship levels are available so that no girl is turned away because of her family’s inability to pay.

For the most current information on GRIT spring programs call Margaret at the YWCA Missoula at 543-6691 or email Margaret at mhoyt at ywcaofmissoula.org<mailto:mhoyt at ywcaofmissoula.org>.

Founded in 1911, YWCA Missoula is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.  Learn more at www.ywcaofmissoula.org<http://www.ywcaofmissoula.org/>.
*Interested participants who identify with girlhood or womanhood are welcome to join GUTS! programs. Includes participants who are transgender or are outside the gender binary and feel that GUTS! could be beneficial or enjoyable to them.


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