Female students inspired to seek opportunities in male-dominated industries

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While on a field trip visiting an engineering company, H. Grady Spruce Early College High School junior Reagan Busby noticed a serious lack of diversity among the staff.

“In the entire staff that appeared, there was also only one African-American female,” Busby said. “I realized at that moment that there is an actual dilemma in the engineering world.”

Busby learned more about the gender gap within the engineering workforce from Misti Munson, a senior construction leader from the Target Corporation. The Crowther Group, a Dallas ISD P-TECH industry partner, arranged for about 60 students enrolled in a Dallas ISD P-TECH and district leaders to learn from Munson at Eastfield College.

As an African-American, Busby left the speech ready to see more people like her in a work force that needs more diverse minds working together.

“I want to reach beyond boundaries, because there are so many more opportunities in male-dominated fields,” Busby said.

For her part, Munson called it an honor to talk with students such as Busby and her classmates.

“If we can change one young person’s mind or give them that confidence they need to go out into the world, then I’ve done what I set out to do,” Munson said.

Through a partnership with the Dallas County Community College District, students enrolled in a Dallas ISD P-TECH have the chance to earn up to 60 hours of college credit, tuition-free. They can earn an associate’s degree or industry certification while earning their high school diplomas. Meanwhile, industry partners such as the Crowther Group are bringing real-world experiences and insights to students such as Busby.

“We believe in programs like Dallas ISD’s P-TECH and Early College High Schools because it attracts diverse, young minds who can address the workforce shortages the Construction and Engineering industries face,” said Thomas Crowther, Managing Partner at The Crowther Group. “We applaud clients like Target for providing an innovative initiative like Construct Reach to make an impact in the communities they serve. Seeing and hearing from successful women in construction like Misti Munson is priceless to students interested in our industry.”

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