Getting Young People Interested In Construction Careers – MAGIC Summer Camps

MAGICIn the third installment of our ongoing series Getting Young People Interested In Construction Careers we’ll be taking a look at MAGIC Summer Camps. Don’t let the name fool you, MAGIC Summer Camps have nothing to do with learning how to pull a rabbit out of a hat or sawing someone in half and everything to do with construction. MAGIC stands for Mentoring A Girl In Construction and introduces girls in high school to career opportunities in the construction industry.

The free, weeklong day camps allow young women to get hands-on experience learning basic skills in a number of trades including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding and masonry. With a major emphasis on safety, each MAGIC Camp starts off with a seminar on safety and hands-on training with the proper way to use personal protective equipment (PPE) like hard hats, gloves, safety goggles and fall protection. Each camper is given their own hard hat, PPE and a set of hand tools to keep and use throughout the week.

Each day campers are given instruction from professionals working in the field in one or more construction skill. They then get to apply the skills they’ve learned by completing a project that they get to take home at the end of each day. Campers are taught how to properly use hand tools, power tools and the opportunity to operate heavy equipment. The campers are mentored by women role models working in the construction industry. In addition to the hands-on training, campers learn about a variety of careers in the construction industry available to them from professionals in the industry.  On the last day of camp the girls are taken on a field trip to an active construction site.

MAGIC Summer Camps were founded in 2007 in Georgia by Renee Conner and Dianne Quimby and started with just one camp. Last year there were 25 camps held all across the country. In 2009, MAGIC partnered with the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) to allow individual chapters to host camps across the country. In addition to providing a nurturing and supportive environment for girls to learn basic construction skills, the camps are intended to instill a sense of self-confidence and build self-esteem in the campers.

MAGIC Camps are important because it is specifically targeted at getting young women interested in construction careers. Last week the National Women’s Law Center released a disconcerting report regarding the number of women working in the construction industry. Despite the fact that women make up 47% of the nation’s workforce, they only account for 2.6% of the construction industry workforce. The report goes on to state that a higher percentage of women leave apprenticeship programs before completion than men do. Discrimination in career and technical education programs based on outdated gender stereotypes, exclusion from apprenticeship programs and sexual harassment were some of the reasons the report cited for a lack of growth of women in construction over the past three decades. The fact that women are more than three times as likely to be subjected to sexual harassment in a construction job as opposed to one in the general workforce is embarrassing.

Programs like MAGIC Camps play a key role in not only introducing young women to construction, but also to provide encouragement and information on apprenticeships, scholarships and networking opportunities for a possible future career in the field. If you would like to learn more about MAGIC Summer Camps you can check out their website at

One Response to “Getting Young People Interested In Construction Careers – MAGIC Summer Camps”

  1. Dude June 24, 2014 at 8:06 AM #

    I hate to comment twice in one day but…. I am going to. Women in construction is great but when you look at the real world instead of blind statistics it is easier to explain. Please show me this large group of women that can physically work along men. Yes they are out there but very few. Women are good managers, they make good project managers but to say in a whole that women are only 2.6% of the construction industry like it is a bad thing is just wrong.
    Ever wonder why women leave apprenticeship programs? They get pregnant, they get married, they find out it wasn’t what they thought it was. Many men do not make it through their apprenticeship programs either.
    I highly doubt with the lack of education these technical programs produce today they could care less if you are a man or women. Trade schools want your money now plain and simple, just as a college does. They all have lowered the standard so much that a bachelors degree is really not worth much, you have to have a masters now to be what a bachelors use to be.
    On the sexual harassment, First I have to say that real MEN do not sexually harass women, nor do they make inappropriate comments or sexual gestures but the facts are a lot of men in construction do not have good manners. The few cases I have seen it was both sides being inappropriate until one got their feelings hurt and then she filed a complaint and sued, always to get a settlement, never sued b/c the person wasn’t fired, it always came with money.
    I more than welcome women into the construction industry but I never see them being even 25% of the construction work force. They are just not made to do physical labor and they all cannot be in management. If I said go pick up that 100lb beam and carry it over here, how many women do you really think could do that, or go get 2 sheets of plywood, do you think they could in the work force produce the same output of men. Well, then the lawsuits start b/c they do not make as much as men do, well they do not do as much work as men do, so why should they be paid the same. I have no problem paying more for any person that can do the work but pay is based on skills, handling responsibility and output.
    When we as a society stop looking at the Politically Correct world and start looking at the reality in it, we will be a better place.
    My wife works but I gave her the option not to, not because we have a lot of money and could but b/c as a man we first should serve the Lord and second we should love and serve our Wife. Giving her the option to not work even if we needed to live more within our means that was doable, or for me to pick up a second job, that is my responsibility as a man.
    I will agree that men are a major part of the problem in this whole debate, if men would stand up and be MEN, love their wives, love their children and be INVOLVED in their families we wouldn’t have all this PC world we live in.
    I am not trying to say the camps they are doing are wrong or a bad thing, they are great and we welcome women into the construction industry, I am just saying above I hate it when someone poses an article that men are trying to keep women out of construction.

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