Dr. Laurie Todd-Smith of Mississippi was appointed by President Trump to lead the Women's Bureau in October 2019 and was sworn in by Secretary Scalia on November 14, 2019. She brings more than 25 years of experience in education and research to the Women's Bureau. A former Executive Director of the State Workforce Investment Board and State Early Childhood Advisory Council in Mississippi, Dr. Todd-Smith played a leading role in the creation of the Family-Based Unified and Integrated State Plan. She also served as a Senior Education Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Bryant. Dr. Todd-Smith started her career as an elementary school teacher.
On December 12, 2019, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump hosted the White House Summit on Child Care and Paid Leave. The Summit was a bipartisan effort that brought together lawmakers and stakeholders to discuss the future of paid leave and child care in the United States. Women's Bureau Director, Dr. Laurie Todd-Smith, moderated two panels featuring Members of Congress on paving a path forward for paid leave. Panelists from the U.S. Senate included: Shelly Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Joni Ernst, Martha McSally, Mitt Romney, and Marco Rubio. Panelists from the U.S. House of Representatives included: Colin Allred, Dan Crenshaw, Joe Cunningham, Ann Wagner, and Jackie Walorski. The panels discussed the importance of paid family leave and how Congress can take a leading role in advancing this effort.
The Council of Economic Advisers also released a report on the Role of Affordable Child Care in Promoting Work Outside the Home, and the White House released the Principles for Child Care Reform to increase access to affordable, high-quality child care in America.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau will enter its centennial year in 2020. As the only federal agency tasked with focusing exclusively on working women, the Women's Bureau develops policies and standards to safeguard women's interests, advocates for women's equality and economic security, and promotes quality work environments. A milestone for women in the workforce, the Women's Bureau will lead and support activities that will reflect on the past, highlight the present, and set the path forward for the future. Be sure to check back with the Women’s Bureau in January for more information.
The Women's Bureau sponsored the 2017-2018 Leave and Job Flexibilities Module as a part of the American Time Use Survey. The module aimed to better understand workers' access to and use of paid time off and other job flexibilities. Using the data from the module, BLS Commissioner William Beach published a blog titled "New Data on Balancing Family Needs with Work." The data found that two out of three employees had access to paid leave from their jobs in 2017-2018.
To celebrate DOL's fifth annual National Apprenticeship Week, the Women's Bureau hosted a National Summit on Women in Apprenticeship on November 14, 2019. The Summit explored ways to help expand apprenticeship opportunities for women in a variety of industries and identified promising apprenticeship models. The Summit brought together more than 200 representatives from stakeholder groups, with hundreds more watching online. The Summit included welcome remarks from the U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella, as well as keynote remarks from Dr. Susan Crystal-Mansour of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The Summit also featured a panel discussion on promising practices that included representatives from CVS Health, Minuteman Technical Institute, Techtonic, Chicago Women in Trades, and DOL's Office of Apprenticeship. The panel was moderated by Women's Bureau Deputy Director, Erica Clayton Wright.To watch a recording of the Summit, see photos and to learn more, visit the event page.
Women's Bureau Deputy Director Erica Clayton Wright spoke at the Eastern Massachusetts Girls in Trades Conference and Career Fair on November 13, 2019, as part of National Apprenticeship Week. Each of the 525 young women in attendance from 14 Career and Technical Education schools was enrolled in apprentice programs. Deputy Director Wright recognized women in nontraditional occupations as a way to address our nation's skills gap.
The Arizona Women in Apprenticeship Career Fair was held in Phoenix, Arizona, on November 15, 2019. The event featured more than 20 apprenticeship programs and employers, and was attended by 95 women. The program was developed by the Women's Bureau Region 9 staff in collaboration with the Arizona Apprenticeship Office, the Fresh Start Women's Foundation, and regional staff from DOL's Office of Apprenticeship, as well as the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The purpose of the event was to build awareness for women in apprenticeships and build recruitment pipelines for Arizona employers. In addition to the career expo, a panel of female role models shared their career journeys, and workforce specialists shared strategies about how to navigate change and build a career. As a result of the program, many women have submitted apprenticeship applications, identified new mentors, and are helping to meet the need for skilled workers in Arizona.
At the New York City District Council of Carpenters Training Center, Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) brought together women interested in learning more about apprenticeships. NEW and the Carpenter's Director of Training spoke about opportunities in apprenticeship and allowed attendees to tour the training facilities. Local leaders spoke about the busy construction landscape in New York City, and answered audience members' questions about opportunities for work in the region. Women's Bureau Program Analyst Mallory Trachtenberg provided brief remarks about the Women's Bureau's support for apprenticeship and nontraditional occupations for women. NEW is a former Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grantee.
The Women's Bureau participated in a panel presentation focused on women in apprenticeships at the District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund's Health and Human Services Career Fair on November 14, 2019. Senior Program Analyst Rose Holandez from Philadelphia discussed the importance of apprenticeship programs and the work of the Women's Bureau. The Training and Upgrading Fund, which has received funding through the DOL American Apprenticeship Initiative, has several registered apprenticeship programs including an innovative early childhood education apprenticeship.
The Women's Bureau collaborated with DOL’s New Hampshire Office of Apprenticeship to organize an Apprenticeship Day event at ReVision Energy in Brentwood, New Hampshire. More than 40 students toured ReVision's facilities and heard from New Hampshire's State Director of Apprenticeship, Lauren Smith, regarding the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce. The students were also introduced to Women's Bureau Senior Program Analyst Angela Rizzolo from Boston. Ms. Rizzolo discussed the importance of learning a skill and considering a career in the trades, as well as explaining how the Women's Bureau can be a resource for women interested in entering and growing in the workforce. Representatives from U.S. Senators Shaheen and Hassan's office were also in attendance.