News Release

US Department of Labor announces $3.5M funding opportunity to place more women in Registered Apprenticeships, nontraditional occupations

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a funding opportunity of $3.5 million for up to 10 grants to increase and retain the number of women in quality Registered Apprenticeship Programs and nontraditional occupations such as those in the manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity and healthcare industries.

Administered by the department’s Women’s Bureau and its Employment and Training Administration, the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grant program supports community-based organizations to recruit, mentor, train and retain more women in Registered Apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations. Applicants must provide one or more of the following types of technical assistance:

  • Developing pre-apprenticeship, Registered Apprenticeship or nontraditional skills training programs to prepare women for those careers.
  • Providing ongoing orientations for employers, unions and workers to create a successful environment for women to prosper in those careers.
  • Setting up support groups, facilitating networks and providing supportive services for women to improve their retention rate.

These grants seek to address the significant under-representation of women in apprenticeship programs and in general in high-growth, high-wage Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-related occupations. While women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force, they comprise only 12 percent of Registered Apprentices.

Registered Apprenticeships offer workers a pathway to the middle class and help companies recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled workforce. In addition to their long history in skilled trades such as construction, emerging and high-growth industries like manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity and healthcare are increasing their use of apprenticeships.

Read about the WANTO grant program, 2020 WANTO grant recipients and Frequently Asked Questions. Apply for 2021 WANTO grant at

Women's Bureau
April 26, 2021
Release Number
Media Contact: Laura McGinnis
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