Sunday, December 13, 2009

National efforts to create more TRADESWOMEN

Area in line for $8 million

Tribune Chronicle POSTED: December 11, 2009

WARREN - An after-school program in Warren, a "green" job-training program in Youngs-town and a communication tower serving Niles, McDonald and Weathersfield are among the projects getting dollars in a federal spending bill OK'd on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, secured nearly $8 million for job creation and other projects in Trumbull, Mahoning, Summit and Portage counties in the $447 billion Omnibus Appropriations Bill. ''These are investments that continue our long-term economic development plan. We are investing into our people, our infrastructure and our schools,'' said Ryan, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

The bill needs U.S. Senate and presidential approval.

One of the projects in Trumbull and Mahoning counties are:

Mahoning Valley Tradeswomen TOOLS: Training, Outreach, Opportunity, Leadership and Support, $200,000. The Raymond John Wean Foundation and Hard Hatted Women will partner to launch the Tradeswomen TOOLS program linking women in Trumbull and Mahoning counties to opportunities in high-wage, nontraditional fields.

Women Helping Women awarding 11 grants

By Kristin M. Kraemer, Herald staff writer

Eleven Tri-City organizations and educational programs will get a share of $96,500 raised at the annual luncheon of the Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities.

Representatives for each of the 11 grant recipients will get a check today to mark the record amount.

Each program will immediately receive half of its allocation -- ranging from $4,333 to $20,000 -- to either start or follow through on their proposals. Then in the spring, board members for the Women Helping Women Fund will visit each site to make sure they are staying true to their proposal before distributing the rest of the money.

"This is literally supporting women and children in our community, to empower them in their lives and help make it better in their situations," said board member Jane Carlton.

The mission of the Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities is to raise awareness of the unmet needs of women and children, raise money to support community programs that make a positive difference for women and children and foster the growth of women philanthropists.

About 850 women and men attended the Oct. 26 luncheon, which is the organization's big fundraiser.

Carlton said it's important that people know all the money donated stays in the Tri-Cities to help people through local agencies.

One of this year's 11 recipients are:

MAGIC (Mentoring Girls in Construction) Camp, a program of the National Association of Women in Construction. High school girls participate in a free, week-long summer daycamp designed to give them hands-on training in the basic skills of carpentry, electrical and welding. At the conclusion, attendees receive a toolbox with tools and safety equipment.

Nailing a trade at Rosie the Riveter High

Long Beach charter school seeks to put young women in nontraditional jobs such as welding and carpentry.

December 3, 2009

Students are welding the old to the new at Rosie the Riveter High School.

The Long Beach charter school was created in 2007 to help prepare teenage girls for careers as welders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians and other trades.

Today, its 50-member student body includes girls and boys, but its organizers still attempt to break down barriers for women seeking careers in what largely remains a man's world.

"It's about trying to change the way society looks at women," said Lynn Shaw, who helped create Rosie the Riveter High. "We just feel that women should have an equal opportunity."

Shaw, who lives in Long Beach, teaches electrical technology at Long Beach City College.

She heads the board of directors for Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles, a nonprofit economic development group that sponsors the charter school.

She knows plenty about nontraditional jobs.

"I've worked as a miner at a limestone mine in the desert, a steelworker in Pennsylvania and a longshoreman in San Francisco," she said. "For me, it was all about the money. Women in nontraditional jobs earn 20% to 40% more than women in what are considered 'traditional' women's jobs. That's $1 million over a lifetime."

She had previously worked as a waitress and was dismayed at the welcome she received from male co-workers at the mine, the steel mill and on the docks.

"It would start out, 'Oh my God, a girl's on the job!' I was a threat to men -- I somehow downgraded their job," she said. "I got tired of being the only woman on the job."

Determined to change that, Shaw earned a doctorate in electrical engineering, pursued a teaching career and became an advocate for vocational equity.

Rosie the Riveter High got its name almost by accident.

When Shaw's group assembled copies of its charter application to submit to the Long Beach Unified School District, someone suggested that the paperwork be accompanied by small lunch boxes featuring the likeness of the heroic World War II-era icon.

Rosie was a fictional character who symbolized thousands of women who entered the American workforce to replace men who had joined the military.

She is depicted on a motivational poster created in 1942 for the Westinghouse company by artist J. Howard Miller as a determined-looking woman who is rolling up her sleeves to get to work. "We Can Do It!" the poster declares.

"The idea had been to call the school Youth Opportunity Charter High School or something like that," Shaw said. "But that sounded really boring."

The group's executive director, Alexandra Torres Galancid, suggested that they name it after Rosie instead.

These days, reproductions of the Rosie the Riveter poster are everywhere at the high school, which is in a donated building at the AES Alamitos power station at 690 Studebaker Road.

The school is accepting new students for the upcoming semester now through Dec. 18.

In addition to hands-on vocational instruction taught by instructors at nearby community colleges, pupils take a full range of academic courses required by the state to graduate from high school.

The school's five in-house teachers add to the curriculum by including topics such as technical math and language skills required in the workplace.

English teacher Robin Scott said she plans to have her students research and write a paper about Rosie the Riveter.

"They'll explore whether she was a real person or a made-up person and what her role was during the war," Scott said. "They'll connect it with where we are right now, when we're in another war."

Students say they are proud to be associated with Rosie the Riveter and the "We can do it" attitude.

"Coming here has opened my mind up. Before, I had thought I might become a special-ed teacher. I never thought about a nontraditional job," said 18-year-old senior Alaina Servin, a senior who has begun her third year at the school.

"They encourage you to do a lot of things here. My goal now is to work in an oil refinery. It won't be easy, but I'm a strong person and they make good money there."

Senior Yolanda Morga, 17, who heard of Rosie the Riveter from her grandparents, said she appreciates earning college-level credit for the vocational courses and the one-on-one teacher time that the school offers. But she plans to become a pediatrician, not a craftsman.

Neville Allen II, also 17, said his friends don't bat an eye when he tells them the name of the school he attends. He said he does not plan a career in the building trades either.

"I want to be a writer who deals with pop culture," Allen said. "My vocational studies are going to help give me ideas to write about.",0,2061384.story

Olympic building program nails down jobs for women, inner city youth, aboriginal people


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