CARRBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — Only a little more than 10 percent of construction workers nationwide are women. As construction companies scramble to find people to help them with serious project backlogs during this labor shortage, one local woman is hammering out a solution.

Armed with saws, drills, and planks of wood, a group of women in Carrboro are building a better future for the local aging population, and themselves.

“People don’t think about how important construction is to just everyone’s day to day life,” said Nora El-Khouri Spencer, the founder and CEO of Hope Renovations.

Hope Renovations is an organization that teaches under-employed women the trades.

“Women bore the brunt of the effects of the COVID pandemic with work. It was mostly women who were becoming unemployed,” added Spencer.

She’s helping train women to make it in the construction business, in a time when the industry is booming.

“All of that explosive growth means a greater need for workers, a greater visibility of the worker gap that has existed in this industry for so long,” said Spencer.

Hayley Fixler/CBS 17

While training, the women help make much-needed renovations to the homes of local seniors.

“It’s so important that people can stay in their homes as they grow older,” said Spencer.

Since its launch in 2020, 50 women have graduated from the program.

“75 percent of them have gone into jobs in the construction industry post-program. Most of the rest of the folks have gone into further education. They’ve decided they’re interested in learning more about plumbing or electrical or carpentry,” explained Spencer.

She told CBS 17 local construction companies are supportive of her graduates.

“We have employers coming to us every single week, asking ‘When is your next group graduating?’ ‘Can I meet some of them?’ and ‘What do I need to do to post our jobs with you?'” said Spencer.

She knows she’s hitting the nail on the head and solving some problems in the community.

“The more workers these organizations have, the more work gets to be done, and the more roads we have to drive on and the more buildings we have to be in,” added Spencer.

Spencer also believes she’s paving the way for future generations.

“There are so many people that I think have the capability to do great things in this industry who just didn’t know this was an opportunity,” she said. “This industry is for everyone.”

Hope Renovations is working on expanding into Durham and Wake Counties.

Spencer hopes to grow the organization statewide in the next few years, and nationwide in the next decade.