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SMART Decision: The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail & Transportation Workers ‘Helps Fund Pioneering’ Non-Profit’s Construction Camp For Girls - Tools & Tiaras Incorporated

Published Sunday, August 1, 2021
SMART Decision: The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail & Transportation Workers ‘Helps Fund Pioneering’ Non-Profit’s Construction Camp For Girls - Tools & Tiaras Incorporated

(NEW YORK CITY) - In its on-going efforts to champion equity for women in the construction industry, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) recently made a substantial donation to Tools & Tiaras, Incorporated.

The girl-empowering, Trades jobs-focused non-profit was founded in 2017 by history-making Plumber Judaline Cassidy.

Funds raised came from individual SMART Union Member contributions, made in direct support of Tools & Tiaras’ innovative programming, including its 2021 Summer Construction Camp for girls in New York City - the first in-person camp the organization has been able to host since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Women’s Committee of SMART organized the peer-to-peer fundraiser this past March in recognition of Women’s History Month and Women in Construction Week.

SMART Members, which include Sheet Metal Workers, Service Technicians, Bus Operators, Engineers, Conductors, Sign Workers, Welders, Production Employees and more throughout the United States and Canada, were inspired to make individual donations to Tools & Tiaras.

Every dollar contributed directly supports the non-profit’s mission: To expose girls (age 6 to 17), especially those in underserved communities, to Skilled Trades jobs like Electrician, Carpenter, Plumber and Auto Mechanic, in addition to STEM and other fields in which women are under-represented.

They do this through hands-on, mentoring workshops - both in-person and virtual - led by Tradeswomen Leaders and special guest experts.

In addition, Tools & Tiaras’ signature curriculum helps girls develop T.O.O.L.S (Total Ownership Of Life Skills) that will serve them no matter what career path they choose.

Tools & Tiaras’ ultimate goal is to bring long overdue change to the Trades, an industry in which the number of women has stagnated at 3% since the 1970s.

“What we do is critically necessary because you have to see it to be it.  We are determined to make sure girls and young women see that ‘Jobs Don’t Have Genders’, so they know that these rewarding and lucrative Trades jobs are viable options for them,” Tools & Tiaras Founder Judaline Cassidy said.  “This generous donation from our Sisters and Brothers from the SMART Family will help us do that.  Together, we will change our industry for the better.”

SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr. said: “SMART was honored to support Tools and Tiaras in its mission to bring more women and People of Color into the Union ranks.  Tools and Tiaras is a remarkable organization that is showing a new generation how a career in the Trades is a path to good-paying Middle-Class Union Jobs with outstanding benefits.  SMART is strongly committed to recruiting, welcoming, and retaining Members from diverse communities, and the Union enthusiastically supports Tools and Tiaras and its important mission.”

The in-person cohort of the 2021 Tools & Tiaras Summer Construction Camp was hosted from July 12th through the 16th in New York City, and featured workshops from iconic brands including Turner Construction, American Standard and Mercedes-Benz.

The organization’s virtual summer camp is scheduled to run from August 9th through the 13th, allowing girls from across the United States to participate.

The organization’s Fall programming line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.

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