Totally Trades conference held for high school girls

BANGOR, Maine. (WABI)- "The opportunities are for everyone."

Girls representing eight different schools around the region gathered at United Technologies Center for the annual Totally Trades Conference.

It's for high school girls interested in high skill and high wage jobs.

"There are jobs here in Maine, there is a reason for people to stay in Maine after they graduate and really important to get that message as early as we can, get it out there."

They participated in many different workshops such as auto maintenance, heavy equipment, and plumbing and heating.

"I think it is good because it isn't something we wouldn't normally consider doing, and now it kind of gives us the chance to experience these things."

"So I think it is really cool for a bunch of girls to get together and do manly jobs as they say. I just think it is a really great experience for us. It's really not okay to put a label on jobs, and it is gender neutral and anyone can do it."

The workshops were offered by professional women that work in different trades.

"They are excited and passionate about creating opportunities for new pathways for women who might be a little bit nervous about what they want to do and getting into a field that might be seen as that is for men, and I can't really get there."

We're told one goal of the conference is to encourage students to stay and work in Maine after high school.

"This is an opportunity for women to see there is a place for them in trades and technology in jobs where they can earn as much as a man."