Area Training Offices Provide Resources for Women Seeking Apprenticeships
Ohio Bureau of Employment Services
Ohio Bureau of Employment Services
Area Training Offices Provide a Variety of Resources for Women Seeking Apprenticeship Opportunities in Ohio
Contact: Becky Johnson Rescola, editor, at (614) 466-4496
The U.S. Department of Labor has established several area offices of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training throughout Ohio. Each area office
provides valuable information regarding apprenticeship opportunities in different regions of the state.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many occupations offer apprenticeships, some that most people never consider. Those occupations include
beekeepers, candy makers, photographers, firefighters, police officers, cartoonists, decorators, television directors, computer operators/programmers,
opticians, and many others.
An occupation qualified for apprenticeship:
- Is learned in a structured program of supervised, on-the-job training
- Is clearly identified and commonly recognized throughout an industry
- Involves manual, mechanical, or technical skills which require a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job work experience
- Requires related instruction supplemental to on-the-job training.
Area training representatives offered the following information.
Mary Ann Dayspring
"There are many opportunities for women in the construction trades, and even greater opportunities for women in manufacturing," noted Dayspring. Many manufacturers in the machine and tool and die industries are welcoming women to the trades.
"Opportunities are available for women and men in the trades," added Dayspring. "Unfortunately, women tend to be discouraged from considering 'blue
collar' occupations and other nontraditional careers. Parents and society tend to emphasize college or traditional employment opportunities."
The benefits of employment in such nontraditional occupations, Dayspring noted, are immeasurable. "Wages are extra good during apprenticeship
training. And many apprentices move toward college degrees. Once the four-year apprenticeship is finished, even better wages await a journey-level
worker," Dayspring said. Also, apprentices have an opportunity to build something and to feel good about the results of their work because they are
making a difference, Dayspring added.
"We need more women in the skilled trades, and we need to think differently about nontraditional jobs. Apprenticeship programs offer an opportunity
to pursue 'the other four-year degree,'" Dayspring concluded.
Manufacturing has long been an important trade in the Cleveland area. Women in the Cleveland area should consider careers in manufacturing and
other skilled trades, and those careers begin with apprenticeship training.
In addition to the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, women in Cleveland may utilize Hard Hatted Women as a valuable resource in the area. Hard Hatted Women organizes job fairs and offers a pre-apprenticeship training program for women
interested in learning more about apprenticeships and the skilled trades. For more information, contact Hard Hatted Women at (216) 961-4449.
According to Lipkinssilar, the building trades continue to grow in northwest Ohio. She said the area has seen an increase in women's participation in the
skilled trades and she would like to see the trend continue.
"Wages in the building trades are good, especially when you have a family," Lipkinssilar noted. "And once you learn and develop skills in a particular
trade, you will always be able to utilize them. Employers look highly on people with journey-level trade cards," she added.
At least once or twice a year, the area hosts informational seminars on the skilled trades. Apprentices and journey-level workers talk to those interested
in the skilled trades, answer questions, and conduct breakout sessions for those interested in a specific field.
Lipkinssilar closed with a few words of advice to women considering training in a skilled trade: "Plan ahead and research the area that interests you.
There are many different trades, and you must truly know the field and be committed before entering a training program. Also, don't accept
discouragement. Find out as much information as possible and decide for yourself if a trade is right for you. Be strong once you have selected a trade
and participate in the union."
Most of all, Lipkinssilar stressed, "Go
for your high school diploma or GED.
Today, many trades prefer it."
David A. Beck
In Youngstown, skilled workers in
construction, machining, and
manufacturing trades continue to be
needed, according to Beck. "Many
women are not considering these
jobs," he said, "but they offer great
"Apprenticeship programs provide
opportunities for women to learn
skills and continue their education,"
Beck noted. In fact, Kent State
University is creating a new center in
the area that will offer an associate's
degree in manufacturing.
"The best employees are those
individuals who know how to operate
machines and have an associate's
degree in a field such as computer
design," Beck added. "Such an
employee is capable of designing a
product and understanding how the
product can be built. Education and
practical experience work together to
create an excellent career path in the
trades." Employees in skilled
professions must be willing to learn
and to continually update skills, Beck
He also stressed that apprenticeship
programs offer many benefits. "First,
you learn a specific skill that stays
with you and continues to build for a
long-term career. Second, you learn
while you earn, because
apprenticeships are paid and nearly
all employers reimburse educational
costs. Third, the opportunities to earn
more money or to become a
supervisor, even to run your own
business, are endless! And, finally,
apprenticeship programs and the trades offer many opportunities for
Shirley M. Provance
"Many programs in the Columbus
area and throughout Central Ohio
need women," Provance said.
Provance believes women's hectic
schedules sometimes become
overwhelming when they begin an
apprenticeship program. "Apprentices
work on the job and go to class," Provance explained. "It can be a
challenge to maintain a household,
However, women can successfully
meet those challenges with support
and a level of commitment.
"Apprenticeships typically last four
years," Provance noted. "If a woman
commits herself to four years of
training, she reaches journey-level
'gold' at the end of her training."
Women must be prepared for other
challenges on the job, as well. "In
construction trades, a woman is
sometimes the only female on the
site. Many employers are desperately
seeking women apprentices and will
work with interested women to make
the apprenticeship a success."
Provance serves areas throughout
central Ohio, as far as Portsmouth,
Carey, and Marietta. "There are
many opportunities for good, quality
training if women have an interest,"
Lois E. Lindsey
"Women are needed in all
nontraditional occupations in the
Cincinnati area," Lindsey began. "A
lot of construction and manufacturing
programs are available, but women
aren't aware of them." Therefore,
Lindsey emphasized, job providers
need to spread the word regarding
"Nontraditional trades can be scary
for women at first, because they are
stepping out of bounds," Lindsey
said. "But women can handle
anything. Most women don't know
their capacity for the trades until they
try." While a lot of women are
concerned with stereotypes, Lindsey explains that the only way to break
down stereotypes is to face them and
to prove otherwise.
Career fairs and other programs
assist women in preparing for the
trades and in understanding the
opportunities available to them as
well as the challenges ahead. "It's
helpful for someone to speak to
women interested in the trades and
to share her accomplishments,"
Lindsey added. "Awareness is key."
Lindsey noted many benefits to
apprenticeship training and
opportunities, including increased
wages and the acquisition of a
lifelong skill. "Women have the
unique opportunity to learn a skill and
to continue to earn money while
learning," Lindsey concluded.