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VGCC student demonstrates that young women excel in construction trades

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Demand is strong for people who are trained in skilled construction trades like carpentry, and one Vance-Granville Community College student defies conventional expectations of who is meeting that demand.

Jordan Ioset, a resident of Creedmoor, stands out first and foremost as a dedicated student, but she also is a woman in VGCC’s Carpentry program, which has traditionally been favored by male students.

“I’m sure my choosing carpentry isn’t a very common choice for most girls my age here, but I’m hoping I can show others that it really isn’t that hard, and can lead to other trades as well; it’s something that can be used for a long time and will be valued!” Ioset said.

National statistics indicate that women account for about 10 percent of workers within the construction industry. Earlier this year, the North Carolina Department of Commerce projected that by 2028, the state will employ 29,948 more workers in construction than in 2018. Construction-related businesses across the state are reporting significant shortages of workers, and making the field more diverse and inclusive can certainly help alleviate those shortages.

Ioset first started taking classes at VGCC three years ago as a high school student, through the Career & College Promise program. “I didn’t really decide I wanted to do Carpentry until senior year, in 2020,” she recalled. “Sadly, this was when COVID was still really bad, so I wasn’t able to start CAR-111 (the shop class) until now. I took the courses for Blueprint Reading and Residential Estimating last spring, so I’m now in my last class.” She is set to graduate with her certificate in Carpentry in December 2021.

“I originally decided I wanted to do Carpentry because my dad used to be a carpenter, so I knew what I was going into and I already had some knowledge, which is really helping me out now, because I’m not as clueless as I thought I was!” Ioset noted.

After she graduates, Ioset plans to use her skills on a church building project in New York. “All of it is volunteer work, which makes this project really special,” she said.

VGCC’s Carpentry curriculum is designed primarily to train students to construct residential structures using standard building materials and hand and power tools. Many of the skills also apply to commercial construction. Course work includes: footings and foundations, framing, interior and exterior trim, cabinetry, blueprint reading, residential planning and estimating and related topics. Students develop skills through hands-on participation.

For more information on Carpentry at VGCC, contact Michael Whittemore, Program Head of Construction Technologies, at (252) 738-3214 or whittemorem@vgcc.edu.

For information on college enrollment, visit www.vgcc.edu and click on “Admissions.”

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