Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Are women on the ROAD to recovery?

Stimulus package sexist?
Story Updated: Feb 3, 2009 at 8:54 PM MST
By Callie Zanandrie

BOISE - A stimulus plan is supposed to rev-up our economy, but is there enough pink in the plan?

President Barack Obama wants his stimulus package to pay for infrastructure and road improvements.

But, will those new jobs put any women on the road to recovery?

The bulk of the stimulus program will generate jobs in construction.

I found, nationally women make up only nine percent of the work force.

Idaho has submitted a plan for a little more than 800 million dollars in federal stimulus money for projects the transportation department says are ready to go right now.

ITD said every million dollars equals 20 new jobs.

But, it turns out construction jobs are almost entirely go to men.

The Idaho Labor Department said in 2007 women were outnumbered.

More than 43,000 men held jobs in construction compared to about 8,000 women.

One woman in the industry says the opportunities are there gals just need to take them.

"With all the federal funding that's involved we have programs that encourage females to work, minority programs or training programs, the opportunity is there, there's no question, but perhaps the word isn't out that's where we need to work harder," said Jayme Coonce, and ITD Highway Engineer.

The head of Boise state's Economic Department.

Don Holley said the construction jobs may only be temporary and down the road better highways will mean a stronger economy overall.

Women also outnumber men in many fields Idaho's Labor Department said out of the 73,000 health care and social services jobs in the state, the vast majority are held by women.

Women also make up more than half of restaurant, hotel and retail jobs.

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