Girls Night Out At Vernon College

Administrators at Vernon College are once again setting out to break work place gender barriers. On Thursday the college hosted a Girls Night Out event at the Skills Training Center to promote jobs traditionally dominated by men.

Last month administrators held a similar event at the Century City Center called Guys Night Out, during which men were encouraged to explore careers normally dominated by women such as nursing and cosmetology.

Dean of Instructional Services Dr. Gary Don Harkey said, "A lot of the programs that we see out here at Skills are more traditionally seen as being male dominated or more suited to males. Now we do have females that have been successful in all of those fields."

A small group of women toured the Welding, H-VAC, and Machining shops among others on Thursday night. Donharkey said they had a bigger turnout for the Guys Event, but added that's not unusual. "It's still a pretty tough road ahead when you talk about women in welding, women in heating/ventilation and air conditioning but we are seeing more."

Scott McClure showed us around his H-VAC laboratory where he teaches both men and women the hands-on skills need to service any kind of ventilation equipment. He said, "There is no reason that a girl or a woman could not succeed in our industry."

The college is also striving to meet gender bias standards outlined in a grant given to the college.

Even though the crowd was smaller, Dr. Don Harkey said anyone who wants a tour of the Skills Training Center simply has to call and ask. He said, "I'd just like to see an increased awareness on the part of females throughout Texoma on what we have to offer at the Skills Center."

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6