HVAC Manufacturers Join Tools & Tiaras to Put Girls on Track to the Trades
According to HVACschool.org, while women account for about 57% of the total U.S. workforce, they only make up 1.7% of the HVAC industry’s workforce. And Judaline Cassidy, chief visionary officer of Tools & Tiaras Inc., is trying to do something about it.
Tools & Tiaras is an organization that is committed to advancing the interest of young girls and women who want to pursue non-traditional careers/fields that are typically dominated by males like mechanical, industrial, technical, and trades.
Cassidy started Tools & Tiaras with the idea that “jobs don’t have genders” and with over 25 years of experience, her organization helps girls interested in any area of construction. The organization offers monthly workshops and summer camps where girls learn from other skilled tradeswomen and build the confidence necessary to pursue a nontraditional career path.
In 2022, Tools & Tiaras hosted an event in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of International Day of the Girls, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world.
During the Tools & Tiaras event, each girl had the opportunity to build their very own “Mighty Minka,” which is Tools & Tiaras’ signature Strong-Willed Warrior, representing the very core of Tools & Tiaras message: “Where strong girls are forged.”
Cassidy had this vision in mind for Mighty Minka as a way to introduce the Tools & Tiaras girls to copper pipe plumbing. Several HVAC manufacturers stepped up to help bring this vision to life.
“I built the prototype and she was more amazing than I imagined! She's the perfect embodiment of what we do at T&T and what International Day of the Girl is all about. I knew I had to make this happen,” Cassidy said.
Ridgid stepped up with their new copper pipe press tool and all that Cassidy needed now were the copper fittings.
“But copper fittings are expensive, especially for a grassroots nonprofit like us,” Cassidy said.
So when Viega heard about Tools & Tiaras’ workshop, they swooped in and offered help.
“We were so excited! It’s invaluable support like this that helps us do what we do and keep our summer camps and monthly workshops free to every interested girl. We’re grateful to have friends like Viega who choose to join our mission of showing girls that 'jobs don’t have genders,’” Cassidy said.
Viega supported the organization with 80 copper ProPress fittings so the girls would be able to build their Mighty Minkas.
“Being able to support an event like this means there will be more skilled tradespeople working in this industry in the future,” said Tricia Musgrave, director, customer success and training at Viega. “Teaching girls how to use press technology is a great way to show them what is possible as a career path and how easy it is to learn how to press. The confidence they build gets them excited about learning more. Tools & Tiaras is absolutely right — jobs don’t have a gender, and we were thrilled to be involved.”MIGHTY MINKA: