The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $3.4 million in funding to help recruit, train and retain more women in quality pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeships, as well as nontraditional occupations.

Administered by the department’s Women’s Bureau and Employment and Training Administration, the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grants will support organizations in Arizona, Illinois, New York, Virginia and Washington.

Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh explained the WANTO grant program’s importance at an event today at the Chicago Women in Trades center. “As part of our effort to build an economy that works for everyone, the department has applied a worker-centered approach to address barriers for women entering apprenticeship programs and non-traditional occupations,” Walsh says.

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“The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grants will increase workforce pathways for women entering the building trades at a crucial time, as the Biden-Harris administration is heavily investing in infrastructure to create jobs in the clean energy, technology and manufacturing sectors,” Walsh explains. “They create a more inclusive and equitable workforce while empowering women to get the training and support they need to secure good paying, middle-class union jobs.”

WANTO grants support women’s participation in fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented, such as finance, technology, construction, manufacturing, energy and transportation. A portion of the grants will provide support services such as childcare, transportation, tuition and work-related gear.

The 2022 WANTO grant recipients are as follows:

Recipient City State Amount
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation Phoenix AZ $542,358
Chicago Women in Trades Chicago IL $713,785
Nontraditional Employment for Women New York NY $714,619
Hampton Roads Workforce Council Norfolk VA $714,619
Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women Tukwila WA $714,619

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, founded in Phoenix in 1992, provides education, resources and support for women including life skills, career and education services in addition to family law, social work and mentoring support. The organization routinely provides career-readiness workshops and special credentialing options for women, including The Arizona Career Readiness Credential, a partnership between Governor Ducey’s office, Arizona @ Work and Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. This credential prepares job candidates in seven skill areas in all occupations, industries and career pathways in the state of Arizona.