MONTAGUE — As freshmen girls at Franklin County Technical School weigh which trade they want to study for the rest of their high school years, school administrators are urging them to consider fields that are often seen as being only for men.
On Tuesday morning, Franklin Tech hosted a panel of women working in fields such as plumbing, carpentry and electrical work called “Tradeswomen of Tomorrow,” connecting them with the school’s freshmen girls.
These fields have historically been dominated by men, although they have become more accessible to women in recent years. In carpentry, for example, the portion of female workers has gone up in the last 20 years from 2 percent to 16 percent, according to Lisa Clauson, the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program’s director of strategic partnerships.
The panel on Tuesday was made up of women in non-traditional fields: carpenters Julie Boucher, Lily Thompson and Samantha Crevier; Nicole Miller, a machinist who formerly worked at Hillside Plastics and is now a machining shop teacher at Franklin Tech; plumber Chelsey Salls; electrician Melissa Leary; Mandy Talbert, an elevator repair worker; and Raye Young, the Franklin Tech cooperative education coordinator.