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Women's Bureau Announces $3.5M Funding Opportunity to Place More Women in Apprenticeships

The U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau announced $3.5 million in grant funding to encourage women’s employment in Registered Apprenticeship programs and nontraditional occupations such as those in the manufacturing, cybersecurity, and health-care industries.

The WANTO grant program will award up to 10 grants to community-based organizations to recruit, mentor, train, and retain more women in quality Registered Apprenticeship programs and nontraditional occupations.

Administered by the department’s Women’s Bureau and its Employment and Training Administration, the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grant program supports community-based organizations to recruit, mentor, train and retain more women in Registered Apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations. Applicants must provide one or more of the following types of technical assistance:

  • Developing pre-apprenticeship, Registered Apprenticeship or nontraditional skills training programs to prepare women for those careers.

  • Providing ongoing orientations for employers, unions and workers to create a successful environment for women to prosper in those careers.

  • Setting up support groups, facilitating networks and providing supportive services for women to improve their retention rate.

These grants seek to address the significant under-representation of women in apprenticeship programs and in general in high-growth, high-wage Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-related occupations. While women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force, they comprise only 12 percent of Registered Apprentices.

Registered Apprenticeships offer workers a pathway to the middle class and help companies recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled workforce. In addition to their long history in skilled trades such as construction, emerging and high-growth industries like manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity and healthcare are increasing their use of apprenticeships.

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