Paige Knowles is a recent high school graduate who studied plumbing and heating. While in school she worked as a plumbing apprentice and attended the Let’s Build Construction Camp for girls. She also competed in plumbing competitions where she won several titles.
Here, Paige talks about her experience at the Let’s Build Camp, and her goal of being her own boss and spreading awareness about the skilled trades.
How did you first hear about the Let’s Build camp?- My teacher at the tech school I attended introduced the camp to me and a couple of other girls. My sister and I, along with some friends, signed up and got accepted the first year.
Why did this interest you?- The camp sounded interesting to me because it was an opportunity to learn about more aspects from the construction industry. At the time, I was going to a technical school for plumbing and heating, and was absolutely loving it. Learning more about the trades sounded great to me!
What were some of the key things you learned from taking this camp?- I’ve honestly learned so much throughout the years with this camp. Some of the most important things I’ve learned are the basic skills of electrical, HVAC, carpentry, masonry, and interior and exterior finishes. I’ve also learned soft skills such as leadership, networking, and confidence.
Why do you think this camp is important to people like yourself, and also other young women who might be interested in making a career in the Architecture/Construction/Engineering/Owner industry?- I think this camp is important to those interested in construction- related careers because it gives them a sneak peak of what their life would look like, and gives them exposure to the work they would have to do. There are so many hands-on learning experiences that can help narrow down choices if someone is unsure. Also, there are field trips and tours that show us the specifics of how some companies operate.
How has this helped you succeed in other aspects of your life?- Let’s Build Construction Camp has helped me realize what skills I have and it encourages me to work hard no matter my gender and goals (nontraditional). I’ve also gained a lot of confidence around people because of this camp, and that has helped my life in other ways other than just my career.
Is this something that will inform your long-term professional goals?- Yes! This camp has helped me realize more clearly what my goals are. My goals have actually changed since starting with this camp. I always knew I wanted to be a part of the construction industry, but my previous plan was to become a master plumber and start my own business. Now, I plan to travel the world encouraging others to take a stand and be part of the blue collar workforce. I want to act as a form of motivation and support for young men and women interested in joining the trades.
Is there anything else you would have liked me to ask you?- How can people learn more about you/contact you?- I have a YouTube channel called Plumber Paige, you can also find me on Instagram and Tik Tok @plumber_paige and Paige Knowles on Facebook and LinkedIn.