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'TrailblazHers' uses personal stories to bring women in trades message to Sudbury girls

About 120 Grade 7 and 8 girls took part in NORCAT’s TrailblazHers Career Showcase

About 120 Grade 7 and 8 girls from Sudbury schools took part in NORCAT’s TrailblazHers Career Showcase, held at the innovation centre on Dec. 19.

Both the Rainbow District School Board and Sudbury Catholic District School Board sent students to the event, which had a career showcase featuring skilled trades and technology companies from around Sudbury.

There were also a number of guest speakers, with the keynote speaker being Jamie McMillan, a journeyman ironworker and boilermaker and founder of KickAss Careers.

The organization engages and educates youth, encouraging them to consider careers in the mechanical, industrial, technology, and construction (MITC) sectors through school and community outreach.

Originally from Timmins, McMillan became an ironworker in 2002 when women only represented two per cent of those in that trade across Canada and the United States.

As cofounder of KickAss Careers, McMillan promotes women in the skilled trades by speaking in classrooms and at national trade events around North America.

Sharing her life story, she encouraged the girls at the event to take shop classes in high school and consider becoming a tradesperson.

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