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Dear Friends of the Women's Bureau,

This year the U.S. Department of Labor is celebrating the contributions of "the Rosies," women who served in manufacturing positions during World War II, to freedom and labor. Commemorating the efforts of these American workers for their economic and social achievements reminds us all about the core mission of the Women's Bureau – to help women find profitable employment.

As host to the Labor Hall of Honor Ceremony, I was honored to nominate the Rosies during both the Women's Bureau 100th Anniversary Year and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Thanks! Plain and Simple, the American Rosie the Riveter Association, and the Rosie the Riveter Trust not only helped coordinate the participation of living Rosies as part of our ceremony but also work every day to honor the memory of these American heroes through their works.

At the Department of Labor, we recognize the Rosies' impact wasn't just limited to helping win World War II and freeing millions from totalitarianism, but their trailblazing efforts forever changed the American workforce and the perception of women who worked outside of the home.  As these the Rosies entered "non-traditional occupations" to support the war effort, Women's Bureau reports — such as "Women's Work in the War" and "A Preview as to Women Workers in Transition From War to Peace" — helped change how employers and government valued these women.

Like in the 1940s, today, the Women's Bureau endeavors to expand opportunities for women in "non-traditional occupations." This remains foundational to our mission of helping women enjoy self-sufficiency! Today, women continue to grow within the workforce by entering apprenticeships.

Rosies are often the inspiration for women in apprenticeships who work in industries such as information technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing. Our WANTO (Women in Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Occupations) grant programs strive to encourage female employment in these fields, and we look forward to being able to soon announce the recipients of the 2020 WANTO grants!

I am excited to build on the Rosies' legacy by encouraging women to participate through apprenticeships in non-traditional occupations. You can learn more about expanding apprenticeship opportunities for women in our new guide published today!


Laurie Todd-Smith, Ph.D.
Women's Bureau
U.S. Department of Labor


On September 10, 2020, the Women's Bureau and the U.S. Department of Labor inducted "The Rosies" into the Labor Hall of Honor. The Labor Hall of Honor commemorates Americans whose distinctive contributions to the field of labor had life-changing and lasting effects on the American way of work. During World War II, American women were called to service on the home front. Coined "Rosie the Riveters" based on Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post cover, American women quickly mobilized in the workforce to answer this call.


On September 10, 2020, the Women'’'s Bureau published Advancing Opportunities for Women through Apprenticeship, a case-based resource guide that provides a framework for meaningful expansion of apprenticeship opportunities for women. The guide includes case studies on four women-inclusive, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in a range of industry sectors.


The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Women's Bureau released a request for information (RFI) on the impact of paid family and medical leave on America's workforce. The Women's Bureau seeks to identify promising practices related to eligibility requirements, related costs, and administrative models of existing paid leave programs, to improve the well-being of women in the workforce. The deadline for the public to provide comments is September 14, 2020.


Do you have questions about your 401(k) plan? Want to know where you can find more information about your benefits under your traditional pension plan? Not sure how circumstances such as a divorce will impact your retirement benefits? If you have questions about your employment-based retirement plan, join the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service for a free webcast on September 15, 2020, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT.


On August 12, the Women's Bureau co-hosted an online seminar for students and administrators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to learn more about the Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) Program.

The application for the Presidential Management Fellows Program Class of 2021 application cycle will be open from September 30 to October 14, 2020! PMF is the federal government's leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. The two-year fellowship offers full salary, benefits, and leadership training.

Share your story

The Women's Bureau's "Our Purpose. Your Work." initiative presents women of all ages with the opportunity to share your work stories and discuss how the Women's Bureau has helped advance your purpose. Throughout our centennial year, we have collected and shared stories to learn how the Women's Bureau's resources and initiatives have made a difference in your life, at work and at home.

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The Women's Bureau has been championing the interests of working women and serving as a convener of conversations for 100 years.

Follow us at @WB_DOL to learn more about the latest research, initiatives, policies, and updates related to working women, and how the Women's Bureau has honored the Rosies!