Iowa Women in Trades: Apprenticeship Opportunity Network – CORE Grant

The Iowa Women in Trades: Apprenticeship Opportunity Network links unemployed or underemployed Iowa women with opportunities to prepare for and enroll in Iowa Registered Apprentice programs in construction trades. This project builds on work done in the past two years to pilot a new preparatory skills-based “pre-apprentice” program intended to prepare women and other underrepresented candidates for enrollment in registered apprenticeships in high-demand, livable wage jobs, to expand the number of women enrolled in the new program, and to establish an Iowa Women in Trades network to facilitate ongoing mentoring and support to program graduates. In addition to skills-based preparation designed to increase women’s qualifications to enter an apprentice program, this project directly connects participants with eastern Iowa apprentice program training coordinators, leadership development programming, and peer networking to support the success of women who enter registered apprentice programs and begin work on male-dominated job sites. The ultimate goal of this project is a sustainable system for bridging significant gaps between apprenticeship training opportunities and Iowa women who are underrepresented in the construction trades, resulting in a clear pipeline to high-quality jobs in these fields.