Galveston College – along with eight other community colleges which comprise the Texas Gulf Coast Community College Consortium – welcomed over 1,100 high school girls and women to the 2024 Women In Industry Conference on April 3 at the Moody Gardens Convention Center.

“There were so many wonderful speakers and role models from leading industry companies at the 2024 Women In Industry Conference,” said Sophie Garcia, Galveston College Dual Credit Welding program student and Ball High School junior. “They demonstrated that being a woman in this field is a challenge and an exciting opportunity.”

"The energy in this room is empowering,” added Neia Vargas, eighth-grade student at Central Middle School in Galveston. “Knowing that I have so many women rooting for me is so inspiring. Attending the Women In Industry Conference has opened my eyes to the endless number of possibilities and opportunities that await me.”

Twenty-five successful women working in male-dominated industries served as speakers and role models, including keynote speakers Maci Chambers, a process slider at the ExxonMobil Baytown Refinery and Tracie Griffitt, vice president of Project Delivery at Worley. Attendees learned about the many careers available in the petrochemical, avionics, biotech and IT industries.

“I came from a strong woman, and strong women will come from me,” said Chambers. “I have two little girls who look up to me. I teach them that they can shine bright in any room they make it to.”

In addition to Galveston College, the consortium includes Alvin Community College, Brazosport College, College of the Mainland, Houston Community College, Lee College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College and Wharton County Junior College. Representatives from all nine colleges were at the conference to discuss education and training programs, financial aid, student services and career services.

“The Women In Industry Conference is the highlight of my career,” said Vera Lewis-Jasper, dean of technical and professional education at Galveston College. “Over the past seven years, we have empowered thousands of girls and women to pursue careers in male-dominated industries.”

Sponsors of the 2024 Women In Industry Conference include: ExxonMobil, Worley, Phillips 66, Chevron Phillips Chemical, OXY, The Chemours Company, Olin, Turner Industries Group LLC, LyondellBasell, Arkema, Shell USA, National Center for Construction Education and Research and Workforce Solutions.

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Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.