WANTO grants to community-based organizations provide training to women in pre-apprenticeship programs and technical assistance to employers and labor unions. These efforts focus on giving women the mental and physical training they need to succeed in the trades.
For almost a decade, the Women's Bureau has worked in coordination with DOL's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to encourage the employment of women in nontraditional and apprencticeable occupations with the WANTO grant program. The Women's Bureau coordinates outreach to employers and labor unions to inform them about the assistance and programs that are available. Currently under the WANTO grant program, 11 community-based organizations are recipients of the 2001 awards.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that jobs in construction will grow 13.3% - or more than 989,000 jobs - by 2010.
Nontraditional skilled jobs are attractive to women because they generally offer higher entry-level wages and a career ladder with pay between $20 and $30 per hour. Engineers, architects, police and detectives, electronic technicians, technologists and the bulk of the skilled trades represented in the construction industry are all examples of non-traditional occupations that are expected to exhibit fast growth and create a large number of opportunities for America's work force.
The United States Department of Labor defines a Non-Traditional job as any occupation in which women comprise 25% or less of the total employment in that field.
The skilled trades are also facing a labor shortage, so educating women about opportunities in these fields supports the Competitive Workforce goal of Secretary Chao. As large numbers of skilled workers retire from the workforce, filling the skills gap and identifying future workers for these important jobs is central to keeping the U.S. competitive and strong. Women can have an essential role to play in filling these jobs.
Percentage of workers 45 and older leaving the occupation by
Telephone installers and repairers 69.6%
Construction worker supervisors 65.9%
Industrial machinery repairers 60.4%
Brickmasons and stonemasons 56.7%
Construction inspectors 45.9%
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor Denver Post, "Trades under de-construction," July 5, 2002
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For More Information About WB, Contact:
U.S. Department of Labor
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Washington, DC 20210
Telephone 1-800-827-5335 or (202) 693-6710
Fax (202) 693-6725