Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2015 at 12:57 am
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research along with Jobs for the Future has highlighted through a news report the efforts made by Oregon to improve the gender diversity prevalent in highway construction trades. The news report also notes that there are other states in the U.S. that make use of federal dollars to entice more women to build careers in heavy highway construction.
Effective Use of Federal Funds:
The percentage of females in Oregon who are in construction industry apprenticeships roughly amount to double the national average number. According to the report, named “Untapped Resources, Untapped Labor Pool: Using Federal Highway Funds to Prepare Women for Careers in Construction”, takes Maryland and Oregon as case studies that use federal highway funding for building sustainable pathways so that women can enter the arena of skilled construction careers.
Labor Commissioner, Brad Avakinan, opined that “Oregon’s experience shows that we can attract more women and people of color into well-paying construction careers if we commit to removing barriers to apprenticeship opportunities”.
Post 2009- The Comparison:
For supporting the apprentices, Oregon’s efforts include providing transportation assistance, funding pre-apprenticeship programs, child care, mentorship services and work expenses such as clothing or tools. It has also been highlighted in the report that post 2009, only 6% of total Oregon’s women of color population who have received these services, decide to cancel their apprenticeships, in comparison to the 39% who have their apprenticeship canceled as they don’t receive any support. 23% of the white population don’t end their apprenticeships in comparison to 16% who receive the supportive services and still end their apprenticeships.
The National Skilled Labor Requirement:
On a national level, women add up to fewer than 3% of total construction workers, representing a key labor pool which can assist construction contractors to meet hiring requirements due to the fact that many of the skilled workers are close to their retirement age.
It is also highlighted in the report how other states can use federal dollars for increasing diversity and meeting the skill requirements of highway construction workforce. Oregon and Maryland have both, locked in one portion of their states’ ‘federal construction funds’ (allocated in 23 USC Section 504(e) ) for increasing highway construction workforce diversity.
Form above, it is clear that women workforce is necessary in the construction industry of United States.
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