Women In Manufacturing
Randy Wolken, President & CEO
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 29% of the manufacturing workforce. Although this is an improvement, it is still not enough. We have much work to do.
This is why MACNY launched its Diversifying Advanced Manufacturing: Women in the Workforce program this week. This pilot program aims to fill the substantial unmet need for a new advanced manufacturing workforce in the Mohawk Valley. It will target women – a largely untapped population. The program offers critical elements to enhance helping women transition into manufacturing:
- It calls for significant resources to be dedicated to outreach and marketing.
- It identifies and assists in securing resources for businesses to ensure that women apprentices and employees are retained.
- It will help secure support services that assist in the unique needs of this group.
- It provides baseline training through pre-apprenticeships to move women up the occupational ladder and into higher-paid positions more quickly.
We aim to place 120 women in Registered Apprenticeships or careers that pay a sustainable wage and provide opportunities for growth and upskilling.
This effort will be a truly collaborative approach. Through the support of 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 to support services like mentorship, childcare subsidies, and transportation vouchers. We will also offer orientations and training for employers on the specific needs of women and create informational materials for employers and female employees. MACNY and its partners will build an online presence and marketing materials to assist the efforts to attract women.
For employers and the participants, MACNY and its partners will provide businesses with Technical Assistance to hire and train (through pre-apprenticeships) prospective female employees. One of the critical offerings will be creating a 12-week pre-apprenticeship program that will include on-the-job training through virtual and in-person classes with MVCC. Throughout the effort, wrap-around support services could include career coaching, childcare, transportation, housing, substance abuse counseling, work attire, and technology.
If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Yawa Zewou, Workforce Development Specialist at [email protected].
Together we can prepare the workforce of the future. We know that a significant increase in the number of women in manufacturing is essential for the success of both our members and the community. This program, and our other workforce efforts, will help lead the way.