For over 10 years, Polished Pebbles has addressed and mitigated opportunity gaps for girls through our focus on mentoring, social and emotional learning, and career exposure. We have been a trusted vendor to over 5,000 girls at 100 schools and sites through our partnerships with Chicago Public Schools, University of Chicago Charter Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, and public programming. In our specialized focus on the trades, we are remaining true to our mission of investing in young women and equipping them with the valuable career and life skills necessary to succeed throughout their lives.


The Pink Hard Hats program is a component of Polished Pebbles’ Real Skills, Real Jobs initiative that was developed to address the workforce readiness needs of Chicago’s African American and Latina girls and the existing barriers to girls and women of color in the trades, manufacturing, and construction industries. The Pink Hard Hats program supports a pipeline of skilled students and girls for early integration into the skilled trades workforce by providing them with skills training, mentoring, and job shadow experiences while in middle school and high school.

Pipelining Black Women & Girls into Trades & Manufacturing!

In 2019, Polished Pebbles partnered with Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, to host our first Black Women and Girls in Trades discussion for over 50 top leading women from various firms and companies in the trades, construction, and manufacturing industries. Today, Polished Pebbles has hosted over twenty Pink Hard Hats career events and panels at our schools through our network of leading women professionals and the firms and companies they represent. Our mission is to continue to offer Pink Hard Hats programming at each of our 25+ school sites each year either through a virtual or in-person career panel, job shadow, or work-study program. Polished Pebbles is excited to be offering our first Pink Hard Hats Internships taking place in Summer 2021.

Some of our partners for this initiative include Turner Construction, Trice Construction Company, Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago, Chicago Women in Trades, She Builds, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, The Walsh Group, Leopardo Companies, and Horizon Contractors, Inc.

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