Charlotte-based She Built This City is a non-profit organization committed to sparking interest in construction and the maker trades for women and girls ages 9-17. After 20 years in the construction industry, founder Demi Knight Clark, found herself tired of being the only woman in the room. With that in mind, she launched She Built This City to even the playing field. Her ambitious goal: by 2030, women would represent 50 percent of professionals in the industry.
Initially, the plan was to launch She Built This City summer camps through the organization’s Builder Girls platform. However, when COVID-19 hit, they had to quickly change direction. With a new vision for community impact, Demi Knight Clark decided to purchase an Air Stream and create a Mobile Tool Lab to take She Built This City programming into the community… with emphasis on those areas hardest hit by COVID-19.
Starting in July, She Built This City staff will be taking their mobile tool lab into the community with two main initiatives:
1. While They Work (name to be determined – She Built This City wants to partner with organizations that offer job training/job prep courses for adults. She Built This City will be offering 90 minutes to two hours’ worth of hands-on programming designed to engage youth 6+ while their parents focus on preparing to enter the construction workforce.
This will be the first step in building long-term relationships with communities.
2. Women@Work – On the Go! – She Built This City will also focus on putting women to work. They will be offering workforce development training from the Mobile Tool Lab with the “Learning Zone.” They will be teaching drone inspection technology, 3D printing, OSHA 10, and forklift in order to get participants immediate high-wage work.
“We realize that the needs of communities are rapidly changing and we will pivot wherever we can to ensure we are meeting both the short-term and long-term needs of those around us,” said Demi Knight Clark.
And, while many organizations are laying off employees and shutting their doors, She Built This City is growing. LaToya Faustin was brought on as Chief Operating Officer in May of 2020 and the organization is currently looking to hire a Program Coordinator.
To learn more about the Mobile Tool Lab or to inquire about working with She Built This City, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image (above): rendering/mockup of She Built This City’s Mobile Tool Lab.