Celebrating Women in Apprenticeships

Today, November 12th, marks “Women in Apprenticeship Day” in Minnesota to recognize the important role women play in the skilled workforce and key industries that form the economic backbone of the state.

Apprenticeships are a way for employers to develop and train their future workforce through a combination of on-the-job learning and technical instruction and are available in a variety of industries—from agriculture, construction, and health science to manufacturing and transportation. In Minnesota, there are two types of state-approved apprenticeship programs: registered apprenticeships for Minnesotans with a high school diploma or who are actively pursuing a GED and youth apprenticeships for high school juniors and seniors. CAREERwise through Minnesota State provides this helpful resource to locate apprenticeships by region or by career cluster. And here is a directory for registered apprenticeship employer and training programs from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

Women participation in registered apprenticeship programs in Minnesota has doubled over the past decade, and overall participation in registered apprenticeship programs has grown by 27 percent since 2014.

According to a report published by the Center, median wages for fields entered by apprenticeship are well-above the minimum wage in the Twin Cities region and Minnesota. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that trades comprise more than 96 percent of the state’s registered apprenticeships. In a report published by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute and University of Illinois Professor Robert Bruno, data show that every dollar spent on apprenticeship programs increases Minnesota’s GDP by $21.

Read below to learn about two women apprentices and the great jobs they work in, shared by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

After working for a furniture-building company, Alex Buzo felt she was not furthering her career. Seeking a change, Buzo signed up for a training program at the Carpenters Training Institute funded through DLI’s APEX grant. After completing the program she found employment and began her apprenticeship. Buzo said she loves the sense of security, the benefits and the resources that being an apprentice provides. She would like people to know that no matter who you are there is a job in carpentry for everyone.

Kenner Harroway’s path to registered apprenticeship started at the Urban League Twin Cities. She went on to complete a pre-apprenticeship program with the Cement Masons, Plasterers and Shophands JATC, and then participated in the Building Strong Communities program. Harroway was recently hired by Ti-Zack Concrete and began her registered apprenticeship as a construction craft laborer. She is appreciative of the opportunity and is dedicated to becoming a journeyworker.

To learn more about great jobs that don’t require a four-year degree and how to access these career pathways, visit GreatJobsMN.com and stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Great Jobs e-newsletter.