Efforts to empower women to seek training through quality pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs, as well as pursue non-traditional occupations, were bolstered last week when U.S. Department of Labor announced it was administering $3.3 million in grants from the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) program.
WANTO grants can be used to support women’s participation in a range of fields in which women have traditionally been underrepresented. These industries include finance, technology, construction, manufacturing, energy, and transportation. In addition, a portion of the grants may be used to provide supportive services such as child care, transportation, tuition costs, and work-related equipment.
“With a disproportionate number of women displaced during COVID-19 and the long-standing gap between the number of men and women represented in the manufacturing workplace,” said AEM Senior Director of Workforce Development Julie Davis, “now is the time for manufacturers to invite women into our workforce. Closing the current and projected skills gap will require manufacturers to actively invite women to participate as the industry seeks a path forward.”
“Manufacturers in the areas that have received the funds should actively reach out to the programs to express their interest in hiring program graduates,” Davis added.
The 2021 WANTO grant recipients are:
“For too long, women have faced barriers to gaining entry into apprenticeships and nontraditional careers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty J. Walsh. “As we work to build back a better economy, these grants will empower women to get the training and support they need to secure good-paying jobs and pathways into the middle class. They are important and effective tools for creating a more inclusive and equitable workforce.”