Introducing The Residential Construction Confidence Course for Women “When are you going to get a husband?” A father’s words that propelled Sandy Steil to seek opportunities for herself and other women to learn basic home construction and maintenance skills. Skills that empower women to repair and improve their own homes without needing to rely on others in a low risk, safe and supportive environment. Sandy’s vision propelled her to bring local groups together to create the Residential Construction Confidence Course for Women. The course is led by local carpenters Joanne Abbas, lead instructor, with the help of Hal Cook Gardner, assistant instructor. Classes are held for 8 consecutive Saturdays from 8 am to noon and is designed to introduce essential basic construction methods in a safe, nonjudgmental space. The inaugural class filled within weeks and even had a waitlist, demonstrating need for the class. Each class covers different skill sets. Throughout the course the women will be instructed in basic safety measures, tool identification and use, demolition, tile backsplash installation, LVP flooring installation, drywall, basic plumbing, setting a vanity, hanging kitchen cabinets, and installing interior trim and doors. Local professionals work alongside Joanne and Hal to offer trade specific expertise, such as tile installation. The series is designed to enable women to tackle home improvements, better understand home maintenance and possibly, for some, lead to a career in the construction trades. The City of Iowa City is providing the project homes, materials, and site coordination, the Home Builders Association is providing tools through their Mobile Lab and Kirkwood Community College designed the curriculum. The sponsoring homes are part of the South District Affordable Homeownership Program where previously rented duplexes are converted to condos, rehabilitated, and sold to neighborhood residents for affordable homeownership. The class is a huge win for the entire community. Sueppel’s is proud to promote and highlight what can happen when passionate people partner with the community to create opportunities. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to put this together, we are excited to watch this program grow.