Lone Star College encourages women to enter skilled trades

LSC women in skilled trades
Lone Star College offers programs to help more women seek careers in the energy, manufacturing and construction industries. Pictured (left to right) are LSC-North Harris skilled trades students Chelsea Caballero and Theresa Arnold.

Women have entered skilled trades programs in droves in the last decade, but many companies are looking to recruit more. Lone Star College offers programs and resources to encourage more women into male-dominated industries.

"Lone Star College invests time, money and resources to help students enter fields that help move our society forward,” said Bennie Lambert, Ph.D., LSC-North Harris president. "Having more skilled female professionals work in traditionally male environments offers a wealth of diverse knowledge and provides our younger women with strong role models working to open the doors for them.”

The Angi's List 2024 Skilled Trades report estimated that 41% of workers saw more women entering skilled trades industries in the last five years, with 62% saying more women would choose those fields if there were career paths built for them. LSC offers several skilled trades programs and a bachelor's degree in Energy Manufacturing and Trades Management to train students, including females, to enter these demanding professions.

"With the ongoing labor shortage in the skilled trades industry, there's never been a better time for women to pursue high-skill, high-wage and high-demand careers,” said Cruz Casiano, Ed.D., LSC-North Harris director, Career and Applied Technology Division.

While women nearly make up half of the workforce in the United States, they are kept out of industries typically dominated by males. LSC is committed to increasing female workers in the automotive, construction, diesel, electrical, HVAC-Refrigeration, manufacturing and robotics fields.

"Our efforts to promote female participation in these fields reflect in our enrollment statistics,” said Osvaldo Caballero, LSC-North Harris director, Construction Technologies. "Lone Star College strives to have a diverse representation in our leadership faculty, leading to a 7% increase of female student enrollment in skilled trades programs.”

Growing up, Theresa Arnold, LSC-North Harris HVAC-Refrigeration student, watched her parents operate their welding company and enjoyed working outside with her dad and brothers. With a mechanical mind, Arnold, a Johnson Controls (JCI) scholarship recipient, knew early on that she wanted to learn how to fix and make things work but was met with doubts.

"Being a woman in a male-dominated field, men don't expect too much from you until you can prove that you can not only do the same job but possibly better,” said Arnold. "Women have to be smarter and work harder. When women heard I could weld or ride dirt bikes, they usually responded, 'I could never.' Maybe they could have if they had the push to go after something outside of their comfort zone.”

Chelsea Caballero, LSC-North Harris mechanical engineering student, wants to make an impact as a female engineer and inspire others to follow in her footsteps. Caballero is an intern with National Oilwell Vargo (NOV) through LSC-North Harris Learn and Earn program.

“Inspired by the skill set of my male family members, I’m striving to become the first female engineer in my family," said Chelsea Caballero." Now is a great time for women to join these thriving fields because of the plethora of job opportunities and lucrative salaries.”

Lone Star College partners with industry leaders to prepare students for the workforce. LSC-North Harris students involved in the Learn to Earn program with NOV attend college classes in the mornings and intern with the company in the afternoons, giving them a glimpse into what they can expect in their future careers. Through LSC Foundation, businesses like JCI invest thousands of dollars to fund equipment and scholarships, creating opportunities to support students and helping to fill job vacancies.

"Lone Star College's goal is to provide systems of support that will prepare our talented students for careers in the skilled trades industries,” said Casiano. "JCI and NOV are two global companies that provide accessible and equitable opportunities for students entering the demanding and growing workforce.”

Lone Star College offers nearly 20 programs in the energy, manufacturing and construction fields available at various campuses and locations across the college system. Learn more at LoneStar.edu/Programs-of-Study.

Lone Star College enrolls over 80,000 students each semester providing high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Mario K. Castillo, J.D., serves as Chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and has been named a 2023 Great Colleges to Work For® institution by the Chronicle of Higher Education. LSC consists of eight colleges, seven centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence and Lone Star Corporate College. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.

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