June 15, 2016

Oregon Lawmakers Announce $650,000 Grant to Oregon Tradeswomen

Wyden, Merkley, Bonamici say award shows how Portland non-profit is succeeding

Washington, DC – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici said that a $650,000 federal grant earned by Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. shows clearly the success of the Portland non-profit’s pioneering path to help women achieve economic self-sufficiency.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that Oregon Tradeswomen was one of three organizations nationwide to split more than $1.9 million in grants to recruit, train and retain women in high-skill jobs, such as advanced manufacturing, transportation, energy, construction and information technology.

Both Oregon senators wrote letters of support last December in support of fundingthat addresses barriers faced by minorities and women entering high-wage, non-traditional occupations. Bonamici led a group of her colleagues in calling for continued support for the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations program that Oregon Tradeswomen received funding from.  

“Oregon Tradeswomen very much deserves this grant and the national recognition for the trail it’s blazed to create such significant job opportunities for women,” Wyden said. “I am glad to support Oregon Tradeswomen’s successful and vital work to eliminate hurdles faced by women wanting high-wage and high-skill jobs.”

"Women hold less than three percent of high-wage jobs in the construction industry and face many barriers in gaining access to these nontraditional jobs," said Merkley. "This new funding will enable Oregon Tradeswomen to expand their services as a regional leader in programs that help train and ultimately put women in Oregon to work in high-wage, electrical, mechanical, highway and utility trades jobs that will provide financial security for them and their families."

“Job training programs are essential to building the workforce our economy needs and expand opportunities for everyone,” said Congresswoman Bonamici, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “High-skill, high-quality jobs should be available to everyone—including women. This critical support from the Department of Labor will help Oregon Tradeswomen continue their excellent work preparing diverse women to find, keep, and excel in these good-paying jobs.” 

Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. is honored to work with our partners, Seattle-based Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women and Oakland, California-based Tradeswomen Inc. through the Women in Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Occupations program,’’ said Connie Ashbrook, Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.  “Many women in our communities are passionately interested in working in the construction, manufacturing and utility trades, but don’t know where to get started.  Our joint efforts to provide women with the education, skills, and connections they need support their access to and success in family-supporting trades careers, while at the same time helping apprenticeship programs and employers diversify their workforces.”