“Jobs Don’t Have a Gender” Says the Workforce Development Board: Now Enrolling

Utica, NY – The Workforce Development Board’s (WDB) Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant helps recruit, train, and retain women in quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, and encourages them to pursue apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations.

This program offers a unique opportunity to females who are interested in any nontraditional occupation. A nontraditional occupation is any career in which females make up 25% or less of the workforce, including but not limited to: advanced manufacturing, information technology (IT), public safety, transportation, agriculture, and the trades.

WANTO aims to upskill the female workforce by providing pre-apprenticeship programming, on-the-job training, and soft skills development courses. Participants also have the option to join a Registered Apprenticeship Program. By participating in WANTO, women can pave the way for themselves and future generations to be valuable employees in these fields.

“The North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters is committed to creating a workforce of safe, well trained, progressive leaders,” says Marie Smithgall, Local 277 Council Representative and New York State Co-Chair of the Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee. “The Carpenters Union strives to promote diversity and inclusion while providing long-term career opportunities. Partnering with programs, like WANTO, allows a unique and direct approach to help us reach the less represented demographic within our communities. The WANTO program provides career opportunities to women that may never have considered certain jobs or careers as a viable option. After joining the Carpenters Union, these women are given a chance for a lifetime of self-sufficiency. It is our hope that with increased awareness of the Carpenters Union, through the WANTO program we can motivate and inspire the next generation of females in the workforce.”

WANTO Project Director Stephanie Heiland says, “We want to show women that they have as much opportunity when it comes to employment as their male counterparts. By giving them the proper training they need for the workforce, we can help them build the confidence they need to be successful in these fields.”

This program serves females, ages 18 and up, living in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.

WANTO is also seeking businesses to partner with that want to upskill their workforce and make their work environment more welcoming for women.

Interested businesses and eligible females should contact Stephanie Heiland at 315-798-5908, sheiland@working-solutions.org, or on Facebook @WANTOhmo

This program is 100% funded by a United States Department of Labor grant administered by the Women’s Bureau and Employment and Training Administration of $716,676.00.