Iowa Women in Trades: Apprenticeship Opportunity Network

The Iowa Women in Trades Network (IWIT) links unemployed or underemployed Iowa women with opportunities to prepare for and enroll in registered apprentice programs in construction trades. This project builds on work done in the past two years to pilot a new “preapprentice” program to prepare women and other underrepresented candidates for apprenticeships in high-demand, livable wage jobs, to expand the number of women enrolled in the program, and to establish a new peer mentoring network of Iowa women in the trades. In addition to skills-based preparation to increase women’s qualifications, this project connects participants with apprenticeship coordinators, leadership development programming, and peer networking to support the success of women who enter 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 pipeline to high-quality jobs in these fields. This grant will also focus on harassment training programs with at least 100 Iowa construction industry leaders to build respectful and inclusive work cultures.