Step Up for Women Advanced Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship
Huntington, WV – 4/4/2016 West Virginia Women Work (WVWW), a nonprofit with a history of helping women become financially secure, has opened their newest program in Huntington.
Step Up for Women Advanced Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship is a 10-week course that trains women in high tech manufacturing. Through a sub-grant of the Robert C. Byrd Institute’s (RCBI) Apprenticeship Works initiative, WVWW will graduate at least 40 women over the next two years. The class begins on June 6.
This program has no cost for participants and will help fill the skills gap facing U.S. manufacturers. “Over the next decade nearly 3 ½ million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled,” notes the Manufacturing Institute.
WVWW also addresses the chronic unemployment and wage gap rampant among local women. “Single mothers still make less than single fathers, partially because women often work in low paying jobs with little room for advancement. We train women for high skill, high wage careers without sending them into debt, and we stick with graduates until they actually find work,” explains Kristina Szczyrbak, Deputy Director of WVWW. As students graduate, they accept apprenticeships or fill entry level positions.
WVWW is seeking partnerships with manufacturers for tours, job shadowing, and guest speakers. “Our students want to know more about manufacturing shops. They need role models to show them what they’re capable of. It’s also a great way for companies to get the best students interested in them,” notes Melinda Perron, the Program Coordinator.
Step Up focuses on high tech manufacturing, such as CNC (computer-numerical control) machining and robotics. Students will complete a hands-on course taught by RCBI instructor Dan Pancake, an online “manufacturing boot camp,” and a resource component that teaches job search skills, financial planning and more.
Women of all ages and from all locations are invited to apply. “If you can travel to the class and you want an apprenticeship or entry level job, I’ll consider your application,” says Perron. Applications and a list of eligibility guidelines are available at wvwomenwork.org/stepupamp or by phone at (304) 528-9991.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA WOMEN WORK, INC.
West Virginia Women Work is a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Morgantown. There are presently three training sites located in Morgantown, Huntington, and Charleston, WV. Their Step Up for Women Construction Pre-Apprenticeships in Morgantown and Charleston boast a minimum 80% job placement rate with new graduates earning a minimum of $3 more per hour than a traditional job. The Step Up class for advanced manufacturing is a new pilot program that hopes to achieve the same results. West Virginia Women Work encourages anyone interested in getting involved or learning more to visit their website www.wvwomenwork.org.