More than 50 volunteers teamed up for an eight-day effort sponsored by Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT) to remodel two kitchens and two bathrooms at the Baker House, a transitional home for women.
The St. Louis apartment building, which opened in 2005 and is home to 12 women, is operated by the Center for Women in Transition (CWIT). It provides comprehensive wrap-around services for women reentering the St. Louis community from jail or prison.
MOWIT President Beth Barton said she was pleased with the turnout at the event. The non-profit organization helps women enter and succeed in careers in the building trades. Several female volunteers from the union building trades, others who were interested in learning about the industry and some of the women who live in the building rolled up their sleeves for the event.
“Efforts like the Baker Build are wonderful opportunities to expose women to the construction industry as an employment option,” Barton said. “These kinds of hands-on projects also allow us to provide networking and skill-building opportunities to current tradeswomen, so it’s a win-win.”
Crescent Plumbing, Harrison Avenue Baptist Church, the Labor Tribune and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC) also chipped in with materials and donations.
“We are incredibly grateful to the volunteers from MOWIT,” said Laura Toledo, CWIT Executive Director. “It’s truly inspiring to see justice-involved women being uplifted by women who are breaking barriers in a male-dominated profession, and it shows the women we serve that there are so many opportunities out there to build a better future.”
Barton said MOWIT is planning to remodel the kitchens and bathrooms at two more of the apartments at the Baker House this fall. For more information, visit mowit.org, or follow it on Facebook at facebook.com/MissouriMOWIT.