According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 75 percent of all registered apprenticeship programs are in the construction industry, but women constitute only 3 percent of all registered and active apprentices in construction occupations.
“We want to not only close that gap, but to offer innovative programs for women to step into unconventional jobs that they feel drawn to,” says Kirkland J. Murray, president and CEO, Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC). “We want to give them the competitive edge in a challenging job market.”
Sixteen enterprising women from diverse backgrounds who recently graduated from an eight-week intensive training program through AAWDC where they received certifications or skills in OSHA 30 Safety, NCCER Core, CPR/First Aid and building green/sustainable construction took it to another level. Armed with new skills and a passion to help others, they launched their own company, Working Women in Construction (WWIC), to assist women in obtaining jobs in non-traditional roles such as construction as well as provide general contractor, safety/safety management and workforce development services.
Their first project will be to give back to the community at the Severna Park Baptist Church on Friday, June 8, 2012, where they will rebuild a handicap ramp that has been in disrepair. Pastor David Brown of the church, which has served the community for more than 50 years, says, “We’re very glad and humbled to have this opportunity. Typically, we’re the ones to be on the giving end. It’s an honor to be receiving this from women who are in the minority [in the construction field].”
AAWDC’s Women in Construction program was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Training was provided by The Association of Building and Contractors, Inc./Chesapeake Shores Chapter, AAWDC and The Maryland Energy Sector Partnership.
For information on Women in Construction and other training programs available through AAWDC, visit aawdc.org. For information on WWIC general contracting services, contact Monica Pineau, 443-995-0763.
The Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, in partnership with the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation received a U.S. Department of Labor grant in the amount of $5,793,000 for an energy sector green jobs training initiative. The initiative is designed to lead to increased employment in energy efficiency and renewable energy which cuts across a wide range of industries including construction, manufacturing, power generation, and those that are environmentally related.
Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC) is a 501(c)(3) Corporation charged with providing workforce and training services to Anne Arundel County citizens and businesses. AAWDC operates seven One-Stop Career Centers that offer innovative workforce solutions to businesses and job seekers. Business services include customized recruitment assistance, job postings, business retention, training funds for incumbent workers, and workforce transportation solutions. Job seeker services include job search assistance, career guidance, career development and computer skills workshops, access to our resource center, training assistance, and supportive service referrals.