One thousand seven hundred female students from Katy ISD middle schools attended a workshop on opportunities within the construction industry March 21.

The #SHEbuildsHouston event was sponsored in partnership by Katy ISD, McCarthy Building Companies Inc. and Construction Career Collaborative—an organization composed of construction industry leaders with aims to prime the workforce pipeline.

The event hosted 45 vendors with hands-on, exhibition booths for eighth grade students to learn about different types of tools and trades, including how to drive nails, use drills, connect pipes and see what the inside of heavy equipment looks like.

Participants also heard testimony from women currently in the industry, according to a March 20 press release from the school district.

Jeannie Knierim, the director of career and technical Education for Katy ISD, said in the release the event allows young women to explore a variety of trades and highlights the need for a more diverse workforce within the field of construction.

“As the industry continues to grow, there has been a significant change in the number of women in this workforce due to the demand for skilled labor and the push for gender equality,” Knierim said.

#SHEbuildsHouston began in 2019 to spread information about the multitude of career options within the field. Previous school districts to have hosted the event include Alief ISD, Spring Branch ISD and Aldine ISD.

The event was hosted at the Gerald D. Young Agricultural Sciences Center, where there are 125 acres of learning space geared toward outside-the-classroom education opportunities for students at Katy ISD.