PGTI Logo 6.29.15

PGTI is a regional collaboration of construction industry stakeholders, including tradeswomen, building trades unions, contractors, government representatives, community organizations and researchers. We have met bi-monthly since 2008 to crush the barriers to good jobs for women in the construction trades. Our goal is 20% tradeswomen by 2020. Our unique strategy for increasing women’s access to the construction trades integrates supply and demand.

We offer customized Technical Assistance Workshops for contractors, apprenticeship programs and any other stakeholders who need help in improving their diversity performance. To set up a workshop or receive more information email us here.

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Where have we been??

The First Delegation of US Tradeswomen to India has been VERY BUSY. Right after we returned from India, members of the Delegation put together a committee to bring a delegation from India to Women Build Nations, the national tradeswomen’s conference held in Chicago this past weekend. It was a long process and we had hoped to bring 4 guests, two women construction workers and two advocates. After many attempts, the construction workers were unable to get visas from the US government. We provided lots of documentation that the women would be coming to attend the conference and would be returning home after. We even got Gina Walsh, retired tradeswoman and Missouri State Senator, involved. But these days, poor people are not allowed to visit the US and we were unsuccessful in bringing Rhadhika and Manisha to the conference. We will try again in the future.

We were able to bring two guests, Vrishali Pipati, Director of Mumbai Mobile Creches in Mumbai, and Thresiamma Mathew, Director of the Archana Women’s Centre in Kerala. Mumbai Mobile Creches is one several organizations across India that have been setting up childcare centers on construction sites for the children of migrant construction workers for almost 50 year. Archana has been training women in the masonry and carpenter trades for 30 years. The Centre itself was built entirely by women. An interview with Ms. Mathew about the work of Archana has just been published here.


Archana Women’s Centre, Ettumanoor, Kerala, India

Before the conference, our guests spent time in St. Louis hosted by Carpenter Beth Barton and Missouri Women in the Trades (MOWIT). They visited the Bricklayers Local 1 apprentice training center and the carpenters training center, toured a Tarlton worksite at Washington University, attended a reception in their honor and saw a bit of St. Louis.

On Thursday, the tradeswomen of St. Louis and our India guests jumped in a van for the 6 hour drive to Chicago to spend the weekend with 1800 tradeswomen at Women Build Nations.


The tradeswomen of Building Bridges organized two workshops at the conference, one on their 16 day trip to India last January and on future ideas for tradeswomen returning to India and the second on building global networks for women working in construction. The global workshop included women from India, Canada and Ireland and reports on tradeswomen organizing in Australia and the Phillipines. There was a lot of interest among many women in being part of future delegations of rank and file tradeswomen and in building networks with women working in construction around the world.

In the final session of the conference, the Building Bridges Delegation joined Thresiamma and Vrishali on stage as they addressed the participants in the plenary session.


Operating Engineers Kelly McClellen and Holly Brown played final hosts in Chicago after the conference with a visit to the Operating Engineers ginormous indoor training center and finally a bit of tourist time. Vrishali and Thresiamma flew home this past Wednesday.


We hope to have our sisters and even more international representatives attend the next Women Build Nations when it happens in Seattle.


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Updates on outreach to tradeswomen of the future

Connecticut Building Trades launch pre-apprenticeship for women

The Connecticut Building Trades have launched the latest Building Pathways Pre-apprenticeship Program to bring more women into the trades. PGTI will be conducting diversity training for participants in August. Check out their FB page, Building Pathways CT to see their first cohort of students as they progress.


Summer Camps introduce girls to the trades

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is hosting a Girls Construction Camp in Kansas City. Can we get this in Massachusetts?

Outreach to women in Boston’s neighborhoods

NCTE Pipeline Navigator Kate Harrison met this mother/daughter Laborers team, Letitia and Jasmine McNeill, while tabling at the Harmon Street Job Fair.


Our goal is 20% tradeswomen by 2020.

Follow us on social media spread the word with hashtags #tradeswomen #20percentby2020

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Interview With BisNow

Elizabeth Skidmore photo

Recently one of PGTI’s co-convenors, Liz Skidmore was interviewed for an article in BisNOw, a national real estate development journal.  The article discusses progress PGTI and partners have made in the fight to recruit and retain womena nd people of color in the construction industry.  It highlights the progress in construction apprentice programs in increasing both the number and the percent of female apprentices in Massachusetts.  “Women in construction apprentice programs in Massachusetts leaped from 180 in 2012 (4.2% of all active apprentices) to 473 (6.9%) in 2016.”

PGTI’s work with the MA Gaming Commission and the UMass Building Authority are prime examples of public developers actually creating a diverse workforce for their construction projects.  BisNow reported that the article was its top viewed piece the day it was posted, and continues to have very high readership (54,000 in the first four days).  Read the full article here.


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Good Jobs for Women: Getting Business on Board

PGTI is a “multi-stakeholder collaboration.” In addition to the usual suspects working for equality and social justice (labor, community, and tradeswomen themselves), developers, general contractors and trade contractors join us every other month in the PGTI open meetings to explore strategies for crushing the barriers to women’s entry into the construction trades. A PGTI-moderated workshop at the 2nd Biennial New England Women’s Policy Conference , at UMass Boston on January 18, examined recent strategies for opening up good jobs in the construction trades for women, described the successes that have led to significant increases in women’s participation in the construction workforce and looked critically at the role of business in social change and the extent of the business sector’s commitment to radical alterations in business practices.

The workshop, “Getting Business on Board for Good Jobs for Women,” included panelists John Barros, Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston; Marcy Reed, CEO of National Grid; Brian Doherty, General Agent of the Metro Boston Building Trades Council; Labor Management Consultant Gail Kinney;  and Sue Mailman, President of Coghlin Electrical Contractors. PGTI Co-convener Susan Moir moderated. 

The workshop can be viewed here.

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The Massachusetts Building & Construction Trades Unions Celebrate Diversity on National Women in Apprenticeship Day


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