National Apprenticeship Week, held Nov. 8-14 this year, will celebrate apprenticeships and give businesses a chance to showcase programs and apprentices.
In 2019, there were more than 25,000 women apprentices nationwide, making up 13% of the U.S. apprenticeship workforce.
At the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, we are committed to expanding apprenticeship access and opportunities for working women. To kick off this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, the Women’s Bureau hosted a webinar featuring recipients of our Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program.
The WANTO program helps working women enter apprenticeship fields by providing grants to organizations that help recruit and train women to enter high-demand occupations such as information technology, construct trades and shipbuilding.
In 2020, the grant award increased from approximately $1.5 million to $4.4 million. Including the new 2020 grants, the Women’s Bureau has awarded nearly $8.5 million to 17 community-based organizations through the WANTO grant program since 2017.
Our webinar featured representatives from Chicago Women in Trade and Hampton Roads Workforce Council, both WANTO grant recipients, as well as women who have participated in apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships through their programs.
Across the country, many organizations will highlight their apprenticeship programs this week. Some of the programs specifically for women include:
- On Nov. 11, Goodwill Industries of East Texas, a 2020 WANTO recipient, will virtually showcase its GoodTech Academy’s Pre-Apprenticeship program for women.
- On Nov. 12, Nehemiah Community Empowerment Center Inc., in North Carolina, will host a webinar for women to promote a 12-week pre-apprenticeship opportunity to receive training and acquire IT fundamentals.
- On Nov. 12, Women Gone Global Partners, in Georgia, will host a virtual panel about apprenticeship training and the advantages/benefits of apprenticeships to contractors and businesses.
- On Nov. 14, Arsenal Gaming, in Washington, will be live streaming to raise awareness to help women, veterans and workers from other underrepresented communities enter apprenticeships.
For more information about other National Apprenticeship Week events, please visit Apprenticeship.gov/NAW.
Laurie Todd-Smith, Ph.D., is the director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau. Follow the Women’s Bureau on Twitter at @WB_DOL.