$300K grant helps Cincinnati women find tech work

The WANTO program wants to make women in technical and industrial fields a common occurrence. The acronym stands for Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations. Recent years' funding has focused on training women in the construction industry.

Designed by the Department of Labor to help train low-income earning women the opportunity to take apprenticeships in more complex fields in order to raise their income significantly, the WANTO program makes grants to six cities nationwide to provide lost cost apprenticeship for women in fields that are male-rich, such as construction and utilities. Cincinnati was selected for the $300,000 grant this year.

"Women tend to cluster in low wage job fields," says Chandra Glover, Cincinnati AmeriCorps VISTA marketing and partnership liaison for Hard Hatted Women. "The traditional jobs women normally go into in skilled labor professions doubles or even triples their income."

The WANTO program also doesn't require participants to pay prohibitive costs. Apprentices are hired and paid to learn their profession. They are only required to pay a minimal fee to enter the program, typically $2,500 over five years.

"We're hoping Cincinnati can be wildly successful so other cities can take our model and replicate it, " Glover says.

Do Good:

Spread the word. If you or someone you know a person that could benefit from the WANTO program, visit womenearnmore.org.

Volunteer. if you are women who is currently working in the field of utilities and construction you can volunteer your time mentoring and speaking with women. Contact Beverly at 513-361-2145.

Hire. If you're an employer seeking out women for apprenticeships, please visit womenearnmore.org.

By Ryan McLendon
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