We are delighted to welcome Yawa Zewou to the team as its newest Workforce Development Specialist to support the exciting ‘Become A Real-Life Rosie’ pilot program, Diversifying Advanced Manufacturing: Women in the Workforce.

MACNY aims to fill a substantial, unmet need to enhance helping women transition into manufacturing. It’s staggering to think that female employment in manufacturing reached its height this year, with a total of 3.77 million workers, according to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) calculations based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers. Using this estimate, women account for only 29% of the manufacturing workforce.

Through the support of the Empire State Development’s Office of Strategic Workforce Development, MACNY is partnering with Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), Working Solutions, and other community-based organizations to attract and connect women to apprenticeships and occupations as well as support services like mentorship, childcare subsidies, and transportation vouchers. Orientations and trainings will also be held for employers on the specific needs of female employees.

Yawa will play a pivotal role in advancing this program through all phases of its roll-out in the next couple years. One of the critical offerings she will be executing is a 12-week pre-apprenticeship program that will include on-the-job training through virtual and in-person classes at MVCC. The first cohort of the program is scheduled to take place May 2nd – July 27th on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 8:30 PM.

Yawa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Francophone Studies from SUNY New Paltz and a Master of Public Administration from Cornell University. Her previous supervisory experience working in Cornell’s Office of Academic and Diversity Initiatives will play a key role in her success leading MACNY’s newest initiative. Additionally, Yawa speaks four languages and spent two years volunteering for the Peace Corps as an English Teacher in Indonesia.

As a recipient of multiple honors and awards, Yawa is passionate about creating change through education and workforce development, most notably as a member of the Cornell Women in Public Policy organization. She is also a recipient of the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, issued by the U.S. Department of Education, and the Gilman International Scholarship, issued by the Institute of International Education.

MACNY’s Director of Apprenticeship and Workforce Development, Amy Stage states, “As we aim to place 120 women in Registered Apprenticeships or careers that pay a sustainable wage and provide opportunities for growth and upskilling, I’m so excited to welcome Yawa to the team. Her professional background combined with her personal passion are an exceptional addition to our efforts. Yawa will add notable value to MACNY’s new program which has been officially branded ‘Become a Real-Life Rosie’ (a nod to Rosie the Riveter, the star of the World War II campaign, which provided unprecedented opportunities for American women).”

Yawa is already hard at work leading this new initiative and is looking forward to meeting MACNY’s partners, especially in the Mohawk Valley, Utica, and Rome regions.

If you would like to connect with Yawa or obtain more information about the ‘Become a Real-Life Rosie’ program, please email her directly at [email protected] or visit macny.org/women-in-the-workforce.