NWF inaugural program, GLITTER, introduces high school girls to industrial trades

June 13, 2017

NICEVILLE- Last week, Northwest Florida State College held a manufacturing camp GLITTER groupdesigned to introduce high school girls into industrial trades, Camp GLITTER (Girls Learning Industrial Trades to Empower and Redefine). Over this four day camp from June 5-8, GLITTER participants learned various crafts with NWF instructors before celebrating their achievements during a graduation ceremony on June 8.

A new concept created by welding instructor, Scottie Smith, GLITTER had a successful inaugural run with a full house of 16 local girls entering grades 9-12. During a packed schedule, participants were introduced to leadership and entrepreneurial curriculum from the Costa Leadership Institute, machining techniques, CAD development and welding design.GLITTER sculpture

At its conception, GLITTER aimed to empower its participants to pursue career fields ordinarily occupied by men. “This was a very successful campaign on many fronts,” says Smith. “We were able to provide these girls with the opportunity to gain exposure to these fields and break down any barriers that might hold them back from pursuing an industrial career.”

During the camp, girls had the opportunity to apply what they’d learned by designing and welding a dragonfly sculpture for themselves. Using a flat, steel foundation inscribed with their names through machining technologies, participants then welded the dragonfly structure to it.

To support this program, the Costa Leadership Institute received a $2,500 grant from the Foundation of the Fabricator & Manufacturers Association, Intl. Local business also supported the program including Gulf Power Company, Performance Contractors, Ingalls Shipbuilding and Pipe Welders Local 234. “We look forward to offering this program next year and let these girls sparks shine for years to come,” says Julie Cotton, Director of Professional and Continuing Education.



Cover photo: Kasey Rigby (Ft. Walton Beach)

Top photo (listed alphabetically): Haden Bennett (Navarre), Hayden Edelman (Niceville), Tavey Edelman (Niceville), Allison George (Ft. Walton Beach), Riley Gwinnup (Niceville), Tiyarra Lovelace (East Brewton, Ala.), Asaintah Olshfski (Shalimar), Jade Purslow (Crestview), Emily Reid (Niceville), Hannah Reid (Niceville), Kasey Rigby (Ft. Walton Beach), Rinoa Smith (Crestview), Macy Thompson (Niceville), Katherine Veth (Niceville), Emily Wilson (DeFuniak Springs) Not pictured: Tabitha Snow (Florala, Ala.)

Bottom photo: Hayden Edelman (Niceville)