Oatey Generates Awareness of Skilled Trades in Cleveland

June 7, 2023

To generate critical awareness of the skilled trades, Oatey Co., a manufacturer in the plumbing industry since 1916, has partnered with The House That She Built, an organization with a mission to help generate awareness of the skilled trades.

A new children’s book, “The House That She Built,” educates young readers about the people and skills that go into building a home. The book tells the true story of a home built by all female tradespeople. Its pages reveal the various construction trades involved in building a home. One by one, the reader learns about the architect, framer, roofer, plumber, HVAC technician and many more.

As part of the partnership, Oatey is spearheading book readings throughout the Cleveland area. Oatey’s Women’s Resource Network (WRN), an associate resource group dedicated to women’s professional, personal and leadership development, has organized readings at multiple Cleveland Metro Schools, including the Douglas MacArthur Girls Leadership Academy and Goldwood Primary School in Rocky River, Ohio. 

The book reading at Douglas MacArthur Girls Leadership Academy was held on International Women’s Day (March 8) and included a hands-on STEM activity for pre-K through third-grade students. 

The Goldwood Primary School reading was held in April in partnership with the school’s parent–teacher association. In addition to coordinating the event, Oatey donated a copy of “The House That She Built” for each classroom in the school. Parents and teachers also led the students in a hands-on STEM activity.

“The House That She Built is an ideal partner for Oatey, especially as the construction industry faces one of its biggest challenges: the shortage of skilled trade workers,” said Katherine Lehtinen, Oatey senior vice president of brand & digital marketing, who sits on The House That She Built Executive Leadership Council. 

The House That She Built movement helps create a sense of urgency to overcome the international labor shortage in construction by elevating the skilled trades within underrepresented communities. 

“The movement aligns well with Oatey’s mission to support the trades and help grow the pipeline of talent in our industry,” Lehtinen said.

Oatey first connected with The House That She Built through the company’s podcast The Fix after hosting author and founder Mollie Elkman as a guest. The Fix is Oatey’s podcast made for the trades — built to support tradespeople, promote education, foster innovation and inspire the next generation of essential pros. 

Oatey continues to host book readings throughout surrounding northeastern Ohio communities. An upcoming initiative involves Providence House, a crisis nursery committed to child abuse prevention and family preservation in the Cleveland area. Oatey associates will conduct a book reading at Providence House and donate copies of “The House That She Built” to all current Providence House residents.