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Trailblazers Program adapts, resumes

News | Jun 09, 2020 | Back to List

On Saturday, June 6th, a group of five women sat masked and 8 feet apart in the training facility at the Carpenters Local 349/352 in Williston. Newly donated plastic face shields, disinfectant spray, and hand sanitizer sat on carefully-spaced individual work stations as instructor Amy Judd welcomed the class back from its 12-week hiatus. The excitement in the room was palpable, with everyone excited to dive back in to the day’s lesson on power tools.

With new safety protocols in place, the class will meet from 8 to 4 pm on Saturdays throughout the summer, with individualized support available for those unable to resume right away for health reasons. In this way, all will receive the hands-on training in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing they signed up for—and be ready to start careers in the trades with confidence and skill. In fact, one member of the class has already been hired by a local contractor, and will continue her training both at the worksite and in class.

In addition to skills training, several socially- distanced events are scheduled throughout the summer.

On July 11th, mentors from across Vermont will join us for a conversation about what it’s like to be a woman in the construction trades; also, the Trailblazers Job Fair will take place on the evening of Tuesday, August 4th. Anyone interested in these events can contact Program Manager Missy Mackin at with questions or to request invitations.

Special thanks not only to Trailblazers participants and instructors for their flexibility, but to Kim Hokanson of the Carpenters Local for adapting to the necessities of COVID-19 for everyone’s safety, and Noah Schwartz for the face shields!


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