Did you know that only 9% of the people in the construction industry in the U.S. are women? To help address this historic imbalance, the Washington Women in Trades Association held their annual career fair at Seattle Center earlier this month. This event helps women learn about jobs and apprenticeships in the construction industry.
As one of many exhibitors at this event, our booth featured staff from several SDOT divisions who shared information about job openings at our agency. Face-to-face conversations provided people with the opportunity to get a better sense of what it’s actually like to work at SDOT.
A popular feature at our booth was the shovel test. To be hired for a position on an SDOT crew such as a laborer or an asphalt-raker, you need to be able to shovel a large pile of dirt over a 4-foot wall within a specified time. Many who took the shovel test passed, and we keep track in case they apply for a job at SDOT.
A variety of people came to the event, like high school students, trade school students and others of all ages. Many were parents, so we had plenty of SDOT-themed activities for the kids, such as a station to make artistic concrete pavers.
While the event was targeted for women, everyone in the community was welcome. More than 100 people who stopped by our booth gained insights into working at SDOT, and also, perhaps, discovered a newfound ability to handle a shovel.