Providing Research and Technical Assistance to Union Construction Partners on Recruiting and Retaining Tradeswomen
On August 2, the Worcester Sunday Telegram published an article supporting greater diversity in the construction trades. The three authors, a leader in the Carpenters Union and two union contractors, point to PGTI’s Worcester Workforce Disparity Study to document the the low numbers of women and people of color who are currently working in the trades across the region. That study also proved that the diverse workforce is available. As the authors describe, “In Worcester, several projects are modeling commitments to access and equity in construction.” These include the Polar Ballpark, a new courthouse and the Central Massachusetts YMCA. These model projects are succeeding because they have made the commitment to diversity and are applying Best Practices for hiring and retaining women and people of color.
Included in the authors’ action steps is:
“Eliminate race and gender pay gaps among the trade’s workforce, and ensure living wages and benefits are paid by using union contractors who pay every worker equally according to their apprentice or journey-level. Fair, living wages bring additional consumer spending power and broader economic benefit to our communities at a time when it is even more needed.”
Keep it up, Worcester and the Central Mass unions!
A downloadable copy of the article is available here.
Happy 20 Percent Day!
This month, we are showcasing IUOE Operating Engineers Local 98 out of Western MA. With 27.6% women in their apprenticeship program, they currently hold the spot for the highest percentage of women apprentices in the state.
Way to go, IUOE Local 98! Let’s keep pushing beyond 20% toward a more equitable workforce.
On this crew of Local 98 Operating Engineers, woman celebrate being in the majority! #20percentandBEYOND#20percentNOW
About 20% Day
Throughout this year, we are highlighting programs and projects that have reached, exceeded or increased women’s participation by 20% on “Twenty Percent Day,” a social media campaign in which we will release a new statistic that meets or exceeds 20% to showcase progress of PGTI’s labor, apprenticeship and contractor partners.
Happy 20% Day.
Today, it’s all about the girls, specifically, Massachusetts Girls in Trades. For the 2019-20 school year, 19.7% of all students enrolled CTE construction-related programs are female. This is no small feat, as the percentage of women in the trades nationwide hovers at 3%.
In Massachusetts CTE schools, more female students are choosing construction-related programs every year. Female participation soars above the 20% female mark in programs like Sheet Metalworking (50%) and Painting and Design Tech (87.6%) for the 2019-20 year. In these so-called “non-traditional” trade programs, women are no longer the minority.The significant gains toward equity in the CTE schools are due in large part to the work of a Massachusetts Girls in Trades, (MAGIT). MAGIT was launched in 2015 by leaders from Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School, the MA Building Trades, and Encore Boston Harbor. MAGIT now includes over 50 industry partners including unions, contractors and government agencies, and has engaged hundreds of girls from 41 CTE schools statewide with regional conferences, career fairs, and the Equity in Trades Student Leadership Council. Enrollment in construction-related programs at CTE schools increased accordingly, from 15% in 2014 to 19.7% in 2020, essentially meeting our goal of 20% by 2020.
The girls in construction-related programs in our Massachusetts CTE schools are the PIPELINE OF THE FUTURE. With hands-on skills, and interest in the trades, they provide a shovel-ready labor pool; a no-brainer answer to the impending labor shortage when the aging construction workforce retires.
We congratulate MAGIT’s steering committee and advisory committee members and all of the active partners who have invested in the next generation of trade workers.
About 20% Day
2020 is a benchmark year for the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues. PGTI set a goal of 20% women in the trades by 2020, a high target intended to spur progress, after years of minimal progress under more moderate goals. Throughout this year, we are highlighting programs and projects that have reached, exceeded or increased by 20%.
|Apprenticeship Program||WomenQ4 2018||WomenQ4 2019||Percent increase|
|Roofers Local 33||9||16||77.7%|
|Pipefitters Local 537||10||16||60%|
|Elevator Constructors Local 41||2||3||50%|
|Sheet Metal Workers Local 17||14||19||35.7%|
|Boston Electricians Local 103||85||114||34%|
|Plumbers Local 12||27||35||29.6%|
2020 is a benchmark year for the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues. We set a goal of 20% by 2020, a high target intended to spur progress, after years of minimal progress under more moderate goals.
PGTI’s strategy of aiming high, implementing industry-informed best practices, and integrating supply and demand for diverse workers has more than moved the needle: from 2012 to present, the percent of women in MA union apprenticeship programs has increased every year. Today the percentage of women exceeds 20 percent in two union apprenticeships: the Boston Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 534 (21.9%) and the Hoisting and Portable Engineers Local 98 in Western MA (27.3%). Currently, 9.5% of all union apprentices in Massachusetts are women.
From 2018-2019, six apprenticeship programs increase their count of women by 20% or more. The licensed trades made key and significant gains: Pipefitters Local 537 increased by 60%, IBEW Local 103 by 34% and Plumbers Local 12 by 29.6%,
#20PercentNOW: Share your 20% achievements
Throughout this year, we will be highlighting programs and projects that have reached, exceeded or increased by 20% on “Twenty Percent Day,” a social media campaign in which we will release a new 20% statistic regularly to showcase progress of PGTI’s labor, apprenticeship and contractor partners. If you have a 20% achievement that you would like PGTI to highlight on “Twenty Percent Day,” please email us at email@example.com.