CNM hosts second annual Women in Trades summit

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“This is untraditional for most ladies and it’s super fun,” said Esperanza Montoya, a welding student at CNM.

Montoya has a few years of welding experience under her belt too.

“I ended up picking it up in high school and I really loved it,” Montoya said.

Now, Montoya’s in her senior year of this trade course, and she’s already picked up a welding job, where she takes a lot of pride in her role.

“The only thing that’s intimidating is that I am the only girl there, but that’s the whole point — that’s the reason I’m here right now,” Montoya said.

Being less intimidated in those kinds of jobs is one of the reasons why CNM hosted their second annual women’s trade summit.

Different kinds of companies and businesses set up shop on CNM’s campus ranging from young high schoolers all the way to adult women learning about different trade jobs.

Sarah Thomas, the first woman to referee an NFL game, spoke to all the women who came out to the event too.

This event opens up the vision to pursue trade jobs like welding, electrical, plumbing, construction, and so much more. 

Some businesses say they are always looking to add women to their staff.

“We’re definitely looking to have more; we have a few successes already on the manufacturing team,” Vicky Ho, a talent recruiter with Kairos Power said.

Kairos Power is an engineering company focused on clean energy research — just one of the many companies at the event presenting women with opportunities they maybe did not know were out there.  

“Whether it’s machinists, fabricators, technologists, water-jet operators, or just anyone wanting to be in the operations and manufacturing, we probably have an opportunity for them, Ho said.

This event could bring new perspectives to the people who attended and help bring ease for anyone coming into a trade career.  

Even if you have been working on a certain trade since high school, like Montoya.

“It’s nice to be around people who aren’t as intimidating because they make you feel a little more relaxed too,” Montoya said.