Women working in the building trades will converge on the capital city this weekend for Women Building California and the Nation.
The two-day conference Saturday and Sunday at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, 1230 J St., in Sacramento is the second-ever gathering for the nation's tradeswomen. Oakland was the site of last year's inaugural event.
The event brings together women in the building trades, construction and engineering firms, union leaders and federal transportation and labor officials to network, gain new skills and boost the numbers of tradeswomen on the job site.
Debra Chaplan, a director at the State Building and Construction Trade Council, doesn't mince words. Women are still few and far between on the nation's building sites.
"The number of women in the trades is pitiful. The economy is probably a key factor," Chaplan said. "At least here in California, there are a lot of good intentions, but the success rate is slim pickings."
Women make up 12.7 percent of the construction industry's payrolls, the smallest percentage of any industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For nearly a decade, the State Building and Construction Trade Council had sponsored a California-wide event before going national last year.
In an economy that has been especially tough on tradeswomen, Chaplan said, events like the weekend conference are especially important.
"We want to bring more women into the trades. These are great jobs, and women are trying to break in," Chaplan said. "We want to get them jobs and give them the support to stay."
For more information, visit www.sbctc.org and click on the "Women in the Trades" icon in the reference toolbox.
Job search strategies
Sacramento Professional Network hosts a job search workshop 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at South County Career One-Stop Center, 8401 Gerber Road in Sacramento, featuring employment expert Maureen White.
Job seekers at the free workshop will learn how to plan and develop a job search strategy.
For more information, visit www. sacpronet.com.
Dress for success
Learn how to dress for job success at a seminar May 24 at the Rancho Cordova Library.
The free noon seminar at the library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., sponsored by Sacramento Public Library, offers job seekers tips on which clothes are best for the interview and the workplace.
Job seekers can also receive feedback and tips on their wardrobes. Participants are asked to bring three to five outfits for critique.
For more information and to register, call the library at (916) 264-2920 or visit www.saclibrary.org.
Terri Carpenter, one of our "Ask the Experts" writers, can answer your career questions online. A jobs expert at the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, Carpenter has expertise in résumé writing, job-skills training and career counseling. To post your question or to view her advice, go to www.sacbee.com/ask.