Women's Bureau Initiatives FY: 2010
The Department of Labor’s vision for 2010 and beyond is good jobs for everyone. In support of this vision, the Women's Bureau develops and implements programs and policies that seek to identify and address opportunities for American women to achieve their potential in the workplace.
The Women’s Bureau implemented a three-pronged approach to raise awareness and create resources and opportunities for women of all ages and socioeconomic groups to participate and succeed in the emerging green economy.
Women and Green Jobs Roundtables
The Women and Green Jobs Roundtables brought together business and community leaders to discuss opportunities in green job fields, build local partnerships, and identify best practices to recruit, hire, and retain women in green jobs. The Women’s Bureau convened 30 roundtables throughout the country from September 1 to December 11, 2009, drawing a diverse group of over 1,200 participants. The roundtables connected the dots between diverse stakeholders in the green jobs field, and stimulated networking and collaboration that can be continued through a variety of approaches, including list-serves, quarterly follow-up meetings, and coalition development. The information from the roundtables will be used to develop a publication entitled “A Woman’s Guide to Green Jobs.”
Contact the Women’s Bureau regional office nearest you for additional information.
The Women’s Bureau issued a contract with Public Policy Associates, Inc., which will partner with Wider Opportunities for Women, a non-profit organization, for the development of a publication designed to aid in increasing women’s access to high-growth and emerging industry occupations in the green jobs sector nationwide. Through a hard copy publication and an online curriculum, as well as online training tools and fact sheets, “A Woman’s Guide to Green Jobs” will provide women workers and workforce professionals with information on hiring needs and challenges, training and entrepreneurship opportunities, and in-demand and emerging jobs in green industries. National, state and local resources, including women’s organizations and workforce practitioners, will also be included in the curriculum. The guide will be available in the summer of 2010.
Green Jobs Training Projects
The Bureau’s green jobs training projects were developed in conjunction with experts in green industries and serve as models for engaging and preparing women for a variety of high-growth and emerging green jobs over the next decade. In addition to technical skills training, the projects teach basic skills such as resume writing, interview preparation, computer skills, and financial education. Nine green jobs training projects are taking place across the country.
Contact: Karen Shapiro, National Office ( Washington, DC, 202-693-6710) and/or Jenny Erwin (San Francisco, CA 415- 625-2638).
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) was established to provide opportunities to leverage resources and engage communities in developing strategies for economic recovery. In support of these efforts, the Women’s Bureau hosted a series of regional forums designed to address financial challenges faced by women, women’s organizations, and women business owners impacted by the downturn in the economy.
The Economic Stimulus Forums presented an opportunity to educate women about Recovery Act provisions, stimulate and encourage citizen participation in the economic recovery of local communities, and provide a venue for listening to the concerns of grassroots organizations that serve women’s interests. Information and resources provided at the forums were designed to assist women in gaining new skills and opportunities in emerging industries, particularly those that contribute to a more energy-efficient future.
To date, the Women’s Bureau has hosted a total of 16 Economic Stimulus Forums in states across the US. The forums were attended by more than 1,200 participants, including women, women business owners, representatives from women’s organizations, and federal, state, and local government agencies.
Contact: Dorothy Witherspoon, Region VII ( Kansas City, MO, 816-285-7233).
Working with various national organizations, the Women’s Bureau conducted Homeless Women Veterans Listening Sessions across the country in an effort to identify the needs of homeless women veterans.The primary objective was to gain further insight into the factors that lead to homelessness among female veterans as well as how to improve services and resources for this population.
The listening sessions were held in states spanning six of the Bureau’s ten regions (Kansas, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington), and included both currently and formerly homeless women veterans and the service providers whose efforts play an integral role in providing assistance to them. In total, the Bureau reached 79 women veterans in 17 listening sessions, and 86 service providers through an additional 11 listening sessions. The information gathered will provide a formative basis for the development of future research, projects and initiatives.
Contact: Cynthia Dawkins, National Office ( Washington, DC, 202-693-6710) and/or Lucia Bruce (Philadelphia, PA, 215-861-4860).
Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations
The Women’s Bureau and the Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Apprenticeship jointly administer the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program. The purpose of the WANTO program is to increase the number of women entering and remaining in apprenticeships associated with nontraditional occupations. This purpose is achieved by providing grant funds to eligible community-based organizations that, in turn, provide technical assistance to help employers and labor unions place and retain women in apprenticeships that are in non-traditional occupations. In the last two years, the Department has emphasized training women for jobs in the construction industry.
Grants Awarded June 2008 (Ending June 2010)
- Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER), Long Beach, CA
- Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), Boston, MA
- Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), Washington, DC
Contact: For questions regarding the current WANTO SGA, contact the WANTO Grants Officer (GO), Mamie Williams at 202-693-3341. For general information on the WANTO program, contact Suzanne Burnette, Women’s Bureau National Office (Washington, DC, 202-693-6710) and/or Franchella Kendall, Office of Apprenticeship (Washington, DC 202-693-3798).
Women in Nanotechnology (WIN)
WIN is a project developed by the Women’s Bureau to promote the career interest in nanotechnology/nanoscience fields for women in community colleges in the Chicago area. Through WIN, students will learn about the nanotechnology and nanoscience fields and be prepared to continue their studies in a four year university and pursue careers in these fields.
The program provides seminars, field trips, networking, and mentoring to prepare students for further education and a rewarding career in a cutting edge field. For FY 2010, the project will expand students’ learning experience in nano fields by providing internship opportunities at universities, research institutions and corporations for students on a competitive basis.
WIN unitizes Facebook as a networking and learning tool for participants and mentors to disseminate information, to provide online seminars and to promote discussion to enhance students’ learning experiences.
The Women’s Bureau’s partners are the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Truman College and College of DuPage. In FY 2009, 44 community college women participated in the WIN program. 25 men male students were invited to join after the minimum number of women had registered for the project. Visit the WIN web site at www.womeninnanotechnology.org for additional information.
Contact: Nancy Chen, Region V (Chicago, IL, 312-353-6985).
Wi$eUp is a financial education project targeted to Generations X and Y women. The centerpiece of the program is an eight-module curriculum offered online, as well as in a classroom setting, in educational institutions and other organizations in all ten Women’s Bureau regions. In the online program, the curriculum is complemented by an “Ask the Experts” feature, which permits participants to send questions by e-mail to volunteers with financial expertise. A Spanish language version of the curriculum will be available online in the summer. Visit the Wi$eUp Web site at www.wiseupwomen.org for additional information.
Contact: Beverly Lyle, Region VI ( Dallas, TX, 972-850-4700) and/or Jane Walstedt, National Office ( Washington, DC, 202-693-6710).
The goal of the Flex-Options project is to help businesses create or expand workplace flexibility policies and programs for their workforces. The project brings together corporate executives and employers who volunteer to mentor business owners interested in developing flexible workplace policies and programs. When employers redesign work and implement flexible work options, employees are better able to manage work and life responsibilities. Business owners realize positive bottom line impacts as well. Additional information is available on the Flex-Options Web site at: www.flexoptions.org.
Contact: Frances E. Jefferson, Region VIII ( Denver, CO, 303-844-1286) and/or Michael Williams, National Office ( Washington, DC, 202-693-6710).
The Women’s Bureau aims to expand successful projects through replication. Project replication allows more women to benefit from Women’s Bureau project models. These models are effectively designed to prepare women for better job opportunities and generate better earnings potential. In 2008, about 25 supporting organizations served more than 2,200 participants by replicating or expanding Women’s Bureau projects.
Contact: Karen Shapiro, National Office ( Washington, DC, 202-693-6710).