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The 2018 Nontraditional Employment for Women Opportunities Workshop was held last Thursday, November 1st at Quaker Haven Camp in Syracuse, IN. In its 16th year, this workshop provides a unique opportunity for young women from area high schools to see the possibilities for their future with a career that each may not have thought about or known was available to them. The purpose of the workshop is to expand career possibilities for young women to consider and hopefully find one of interest.

About 200 sophomore girls from Warsaw, Wawasee, Tippecanoe Valley, Whitko, Fairfield, & West Noble schools attended this workshop, which was sponsored by the Warsaw Area Career Center, the Wawasee Area Career & Technical Cooperative, the Carl D. Perkins Grant, & the Warsaw Education Foundation. With almost 50 adult women representing their respective careers in attendance, the information presented to the students included education & training, typical workday, work environment, wage information, employment forecast, and advantages for women in these occupations.

With a theme of “It’s Raining Women in STEM,” the morning began with keynote speaker Cindi Clawson, Meteorologist with WNDU-TV, who started off our workshop with an inspiring message about women in STEM careers. She shared what trends she’s noticed over the years as many more women are entering what were traditionally male-dominated fields, however numbers are still on the lower side with some unequal opportunities with men vs. women. Cindi also touched on the increasing number of jobs that require STEM skills and how women are still underrepresented in STEM, especially in computer fields. Towards the end of her address, Cindi encouraged the young women in attendance to always support each other, to work hard, and remember that many women have come before them to pave the way, but to also keep that momentum going.

Before the students had the chance to participate in six different round-table discussions, Ronna Kawsky, Director of the WACC, recognized the woman responsible for/behind the N.E.W. Workshop. 17 years ago Diana Yarian, WACC Program Specialist, found the idea for the workshop & ran with it. Because of her hard work, dedication to this workshop, and passion for nontraditional careers in women, so many student’s lives have been impacted over the years and the WACC & WACTC are immensely grateful for her work.

Following a wonderful taco bar lunch, students had the opportunity for hands-on experiences through “try-it” activities where they could actually experience different careers. These activities included building a tool-box, a virtual welder simulation, doing a TV weather report, wiring a electric circuit board, drilling into a prosthetic knee, landscaping/designing your own garden, cardiac catheterization- stent simulation, suturing on bananas, creating/carving centerpieces out of fruit & veggies, dog handling/training, flight simulations, and much more!

The Warsaw Area Career Center and the Wawasee Career and Technical Cooperative offer a huge “THANK YOU” to all of the phenomenal women who took time from their busy schedules to participate in the N.E.W. Opportunities Workshop. Their dedication and commitment inspires students to pursue their dreams and we are profoundly grateful for their involvement in our workshop!

Another special thanks to our other contributions from Building Trades students from WACC & WACTC, Ceres Solutions, Quaker Haven Camp, WCS Maintenance Staff, & Wyndham Garden Warsaw.

The Warsaw Area Career Center is seeking YOUR help to find women in non-traditional careers for our 2018 Non-Traditional Employment for Women Workshop on Thursday, November 1st located in Syracuse, IN. 

Did you know that in partnership with the Wawasee Area Career & Technical Cooperative, our Career Center organizes and hosts a Non-Traditional Employment for Women Workshop for over 200 local sophomore females from six area high schools? This workshop is an exciting opportunity for young women from the area high schools to see the possibilities for their future with a career that each may not have thought about or known was available to them. The purpose of the workshop is to expand the career possibilities for young women to consider and hopefully find one that is of interest. Information presented will include education and training, typical workday, work environment, wage information, employment forecast, and advantages for women in these occupations. Hands-on experience through “try-it” activities where you can actually experience differentHands-on experience through “try-it” activities where you can actually experience different career opportunities. Build a toolbox, do a TV weather report, do a radio broadcast interview, take apart a computer, dress like a firefighter and crawl thru an obstacle course, weld a souvenir, etc.

We already have over 40 amazing speakers from non-traditional careers that take time out of their busy schedules to spend a day sharing what neat things they do with our students, but we are always looking for more women to be a part of our workshop. (A non-traditional occupation for women is one in which women comprise 25% or less of total employment for that field.) This is where we need your help! 
We are seeking help finding women in the following careers (including but not limited to):

Agriculture Careers: Farmers, Ag Managers, Tree trimming Specialists
Construction Trades Careers: Brickmasons, Stonemasons, Plumbing Specialists, Surveying & Mapping Technicians, Landscaping Workers, Painters, Roofers
Engineering Careers: Aerospace Engineers, Automotive/Mechanical Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Civil Engineering, Machinists, Welders
Other Careers: HVAC Technicians, Train Conductors, DNR Officers, Politician, Barber

If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in our workshop as a female in a non-traditional career, please pass this information along to them and/or have them contact Gabi Wall at 574-371-5074 ext. 2503 or by email at

Thank you for helping to inspire & impact young women in our community!!

Last Thursday, about 200 high school sophomore girls from 6 local schools had the opportunity to attend the 15th Annual Non-Traditional Employment for Women Workshop at Quaker Haven Camp in Syracuse. Students from Warsaw, Wawasee, Fairfield, Tippecanoe Valley, and Whitko high schools along with a few homeschooled students were in attendance. This workshop allows young women to see the possibilities for their future with a career that each may not have thought about or known was available to them. The purpose of this workshop is to expand the career possibilities for young women to consider and hopefully find one that is of interest. The information presented included education & training, a typical workday, work environments, wage information, employment forecasts, and advantages for women in these occupations. The girls were able to have hands-on experience with "try-it" activities in most of the career opportunities presented. These activities included: building a toolbox, doing a weather report, dressing like a firefighter, welding a souvenir, drilling into bones, designing & carving fruit centerpieces, suturing bananas, hosting an auction, and much more! 

The morning began with an inspiring keynote address from local author & motivational speaker, Natalie Replogle. Following a quick icebreaker game, Natalie shared her own story of struggle & triumph as she found her calling in life even after many different career attempts. She encouraged the students to not always look at failure negatively and to remember that each of them were made uniquely and for a specific purpose in life. 

After our keynote, students were able to break off into five different fifteen-minute roundtable discussion sessions with our speakers to learn more in-depth about their individual careers. The afternoon was spent experiencing all of the awesome try-it activities. 

This workshop would not have been made possible without the phenomenal support of all those involved. Special thanks to our amazing speakers, selfless volunteers, hard-working N.E.W. staff members, and generous sponsors including: 

Warsaw Area Career Center
Wawasee Area Career & Technical Cooperative
Carl D. Perkins Grant
The Warsaw Education Foundation
Building Trades students from WACC & WACTC
Ceres Solutions
Clayton Garden Center
Quaker Haven Camp
WACC Welding Technology Lab
WCS Maintenance Staff
Wyndham Garden Warsaw

Mrs. Carmichael's Fashion & Textile students recently made gifts for presenters at next year's N.E.W. Conference. 

For directions on how to make this project and many others, visit Mrs. Carmichael's website:

The Warsaw Area Career Center and the Wawasee Area Career & Technical Cooperative sponsored the 14th annual N.E.W. (Non-Traditional Employment for Women) Opportunities workshop, titled C.S.I- Career Seeking Investigations, last week at Quaker Haven Camp in Syracuse, IN. About 200 female, sophomore students from six local schools including Fairfield, Tippecanoe Valley, Warsaw, Wawasee, West Noble, & Whitko attended this event.

Mrs. Kawsky, WACC Director/Principal, opened the morning by not only talking about how the day would go but also encouraged the girls to not let the outside world distract them today and to really focus on broadening their field of vision in regards to potential career pathways they can take.

The day began with the 2016 keynote speaker, Leslie Cook, the Adams County Coroner.
Cook has been a regional forensic nurse examiner with the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center since 1996 providing medical forensic examinations to hundreds and hundreds of patients in and around Allen County. Ms. Cook uses her forensic training in the area of death investigation where she has been with the Adams County Coroner’s office for 18 years serving as both the elected Coroner and Deputy Coroner. In addition, Ms. Cook provides peer mentoring, consultation, presentations, in-services and lectures to a variety of professionals, students and the lay population on topics related to sexual assault. During her keynote address, she talked about not only the opportunities available to her throughout her career as a nurse but also how a door was opened to her in politics, which is where her passion has been in recent years. Ms. Cook stressed to the attendees about how she can still be successful in her career while juggling her personal life as a mom and wife. She talked about the importance of understanding that physically women can handle this job just as well as men can. Ms. Cook left the students with these final thoughts: Be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude, and a lady with class.

The students then had the opportunity to participate in round table discussions where they were able to rotate to five different tables to learn about the nontraditional careers that were present.

After lunch a wonderful lunch catered by Quaker Haven, the students participated in hands-on activities in different career areas so they could “feel it, touch it, experience it”. The young women had the chance to become familiar with everything from a flight simulator to welding and practicing sutures to building tool boxes.

All those who attended found the day to be such a rewarding experience. The enthusiasm and passion of the women presenters for their career choice excited and rejuvenated all there. It was truly education at work in our community with many partnerships involved and lots of dedicated people who wanted to see young women expand their horizons and pursue their dreams.

Funding for the 2016 workshop was made possible through a Red Apple Grant from the Warsaw Education Foundation and Carl Perkins Federal Grants. Special thanks to other contributors: Building Trades Students from WACC & WACTC, Clayton Garden Center, Quaker Haven Camp, WACC Welding Technology Lab, Warsaw School Custodial Staff, North Central Co-Op, Wyndham Garden Warsaw.

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