There’s a new patch program for Girl Scouts across the country designed to empower girls to think about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and construction by meeting real professional women in building. Dubbed “The House That She Built,” the program was created by Mollie Elkman, the author of the children’s book of the same name, with support from the book’s publisher, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Both the book and the patch program were inspired by the same team of real women from NAHB’s Utah Chapter of Professional Women in Building Council, who came together from around the country to build a one-of-a-kind home in Utah: The House That SHE Built. Many of the women who came together from around the country to build the Utah home are former Girl Scouts themselves.

The intent of this patch program is to build self-esteem and develop skills through curiosity and hands-on activities. The program hosted by the Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast was first rolled out in early April but is available to all Girl Scouts across the country.

“We are so proud to be able to work with the Girl Scouts to introduce and empower young girls to learn about the construction industry,” said NAHB first vice chairperson, Alicia Huey, a custom home builder from Birmingham, Ala. “We hope that this program helps to drive curiosity, expose them to new career paths and be a fun learning experience.”

The program also hopes to generate early interest in the career opportunities in the construction industry. The shortage in skilled trade workers is a growing crisis for our country.

Currently, women are the most underrepresented community in these careers, making up less than 3% of the workforce. The House That She Built patch will help expose girls to many new skills and interests and showcase the vast opportunities for successful careers in construction.

“The Girl Scouts is the perfect organization for us to partner with to help inspire the next generation of young women,” said Elkman. “I’m excited to show them the book and introduce them to some amazing women in the construction industry.”

To earn The House That She Built Patch, the Girl Scouts will meet the author of The House That She Built along with the general contractor and other key women involved in the home and story, as well as participate in other hands-on activities.

Proceeds from the book support skilled workforce development and diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.

For more information on participating in the Girl Scouts, The House That She Built patch and charm program, CLICK HERE.

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