Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hard Hatted Women receives Women in Apprenticeships grant

The Suburbanite
Tue Aug 11, 2009, 08:30 AM EDT

Cleveland, Ohio -
Hard Hatted Women (HHW), a Cleveland-based non-profit organization that trains and helps women and girls explore, pursue and excel in careers in high-wage, high-skill industries, was awarded a grant renewal from the Women in Apprenticeships and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) program through the U.S. Department of Labor. Also, HHW was selected as a host for seven AmeriCorps VISTA members, who commit to a year of national service to support anti-poverty programs.

The one-year WANTO grant is for more than $160,000 and allows the organization to continue the statewide Women in Ohio Roadways Construction project. The project promotes an outreach initiative that leverages training and community resources to ensure local participation in the building of transportation projects in Ohio. Strong partnerships with the Ohio Department of Transportation, building trade unions and contractors support the project’s successful achievement of helping more than 200 women enter and succeed in the industry.

“These federal investments in Hard Hatted Women will make sure that the talents and skills of both women and men contribute to the revitalization of our region and state,” said Terri Burgess Sandu, executive director, HHW. “HHW is well positioned to help make Ohio a leader in connecting low-income and unemployed women to both the emerging green economy and infrastructure jobs created by the national recovery program.”

The AmeriCorps VISTA members will be assigned to several different HHW programs. Three VISTA volunteers will work on Tradeswomen TOOLS, a program that has been extended to serve Cuyahoga, Lorain and Trumbull counties and is designed to link women to opportunities in high-wage skilled careers. A Green Jobs Coordinator and a Youth Education Coordinator will help women and girls learn about a wide variety of career paths. Two VISTA members will support HHW outreach and communications.“Filling these positions will vastly increase our ability to not only provide outreach, education, mentoring and leadership skill training for women, it will allow us to work more closely with employers and industry leaders in targeted fields,” said Burgess Sandu.

HHW is playing a unique role in ensuring equitable access to jobs created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the agency’s selection as a VISTA host was made possible by the act.

“The grant from the US Department of Labor as well as the VISTA volunteers will help HHW to effect change statewide,” said Burgess Sandu. “Serving in partnerships with employers and government agencies throughout Ohio allows us to ensure women benefit from new jobs in construction, manufacturing, and in the emerging green economy.”
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years.

Hard Hatted Women (HHW) is a non-profit organization with over 30 years of experience empowering women to achieve economic independence by creating workplace diversity in the trade and technical fields. With a focus on training, education, and policy initiatives, HHW works to create systemic change through community, state, and national channels. For more information on HHW, contact: Hard Hatted Women, 4220 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44103. Phone: (216) 861-6500. Fax: (216) 861-7204. E-mail:


Subject: *
Your Name: *
E-mail Address: *
Message: *

* Required