LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There is a shortage of construction workers, says the Nevada State Contractors Board, and the presence of women in the industry, while historically low, is growing. Now industry leaders say they hope women will help fill the needed positions.

“I’m very fortunate to have taken a small part in our ever-growing and evolving Las Vegas skyline,” said Ashley Carreon, project manager for Burke Construction Group. She said watching her father work in the construction industry gave her the “bug” to start putting hammer to nail.

“I started taking classes and never looked back,” said Carreon.

With two decades under her metaphorical tool belt, Carreon says her increasingly inclusive workforce consists of 40 percent females.

However, according to the Nevada State Contractors Board, only 16 percent of the construction workforce as a whole are women. Margi Grein, Executive Officer with the Nevada State Contractors Board, says women are an untapped resource in the construction industry, adding that there is money to be made by women in the field.

“There’s only about a two percent difference from women in construction versus what men’s pay is,” said Grein. “So, it’s a great opportunity.”

Friday’s “Hammers and Hope” event means to connect women with construction opportunities and to introduce women to other women in the industry.

“Construction just isn’t an opportunity for men,” Grein said. “Women can succeed and do just as good or better than a lot of men in the industry.”

The “Hammers & Hope” event runs from 11:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 10, and promises panel discussions, workshops, and job opportunities. It will take place at the East Las Vegas Library at 2851 East Bonanza Road. The event is free to attend.