Pre-Apprenticeship Graduation!  

If you've read this site before, you know how much I love Hard Hatted Women, well, yesterday, I'm equally proud of DCLabor. From Metro Washington Council News:


Family and friends of 21 newly-minted graduates filled the Gompers Room at the AFL-CIO Monday for the Washington Area Women in the Trades (WAWIT) graduation ceremony. Traci Pfeffer and Jhonnal Daniels spoke for many of their fellow-graduates when they shared the many challenges they faced to complete the 12-week building and construction trades pre-apprenticeship program.

Congratulatory and supportive words were offered by keynote speakers including Channel 7 anchor Maureen Bunyan and YWCA Executive Director Orysia Stanchak, and special thanks were given to the four unions who provided hands-on experience for the women at their apprenticeship schools, including Cement Masons Local 891, the Sheet Metal Workers Apprenticeship program, the Joint Carpentry Apprenticeship Committee and the IBEW Apprenticeship Program.

This is the fourth group of female construction workers to complete the training, which is coordinated by the YWCA of the National Capital Area, Wider Opportunities for Women and the Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO.

What I especially like about this program is that it empowers women to do something else, something more. It encourages women to find a new way to provide for their families. More about this program from the Metro Council:

The Program:
We have developed a strategy to help women acquire the skills they need to pursue careers in the trades, and to connect them to apprenticeship and career opportunities after they graduate from the program. The program will reach out to women from different communities and include some who face barriers that have prevented them from finding or keeping well-paying jobs in the past.

Might I also point out here that it takes women from low benefit Certified Nursing Assistant jobs into jobs with growth, potential and opportunity. And with DC City Council restricting the City's paid sick leave legistlation to everone who doesn't work in the food industry and the health care industry and further isolating those groups to fulltime AND only after having been on the job for 12 months, well, you can see how working in a trade might be much more valuable. Again from the Metro Council:

Basic skills curriculum:
The YWCA will be responsible for developing and implementing a curriculum that incorporates elements of earlier curricula developed by the YWCA and WOW. The curriculum will provide students with an array of soft skills necessary to be successful in the construction and building trades, including math and reading skills, fitness, life skills, and an introduction to the trades. The basic skills component will be taught at the YWCA headquarters in downtown Washington.

For more information on future programs, I'd suggest you drop Kathleen McKirchy: Comm Serv Agency 202-974-8221 (office) 202-974-8152 (fax) or Silvia Casaro a line.

Pictures are available on the Metropolitan Washington Council's website.


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