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Women Want Green Jobs
Posted on January 28, 2011 by Thao Nelson
1 Comments   Add Comments

This short video features tradeswomen/graduates of Oregon Tradeswomen's pre-apprenticeship program in Portland, Oregon as they go to work in their green jobs. Oregon Tradeswomen challenges other green training programs to increase the percentage of women in their programs to better represent the program. Think women don't want to do this work? Think employers won't hire women? Think again!

In 2010, we had over 480 women attend the information session for our classes. Women want this work!

Made by Dawn Jones for Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.




Iowa is located in the central United States and is usually included in the Midwest region, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland"

The area that makes up the present-day state’s territory came under United States jurisdiction with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Originally part of the Wisconsin Territory, present-day Iowa and parts of the surrounding states separated and then combined to form the Iowa Territory in 1838. Iowa became the 29th state on December 28, 1846. Iowa’s agricultural efficiency has led it to be the nation’s third most productive agricultural state, only behind Texas and California in terms of total output. Approximately 87% of the total land area is dedicated farmland. Corn and soybeans are the two most important crops to the state. Corn is largely used as feed for livestock, which are also raised on the farms. In this crop-and-livestock system, farmers produce corn to feed their livestock, which are then sold to market. Soybeans are also used as livestock feed. In addition, the crop is used in foodstuffs and manufactured products Along with other crops, soybeans function well in crop rotations by restoring nitrogen to the soil. The economic base for Iowa began to shift in the second part of the twentieth century, from agriculture to manufacturing and services. Although Iowa produces ten percent of the US food supply, the value of Iowa's manufactured products is twice that of its agriculture. Other major industries include food and associated products, non-electrical machinery, electrical equipment, printing and publishing, and fabricated products.  Iowa has 99 Counties which provides the ideal climate for business growth and innovation. The state’s pro-business policies, nationally recognized research centers and legendary Midwestern work ethic combined with the nation’s lowest cost of doing business give businesses with an Iowa location a huge competitive edge. Those business advantages fuel an innovation economy in high growth industries including renewable energy, information technology, advanced manufacturing, biosciences and food processing and packaging. In the mid and late 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy transitioned to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, biotechnology, and green energy production. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in which to live. Des Moines is Iowa's capital and largest city.

An OA State, Iowa is home to 588 Active Apprenticeship Programs and 4817 Active Apprentices. The OA state office is located in Des Moines and is under the direction of State Director, Greer Sisson.  Iowa Staff consists of two Apprenticeship and Training Representatives.

In the period between 1995 and 2010 there have been over 19,000 registered apprenticeships active in the state of Iowa. Polk, Linn, and Scott counties have been home to most apprenticeships, as is expected given their population. Every county in Iowa has hosted at least six apprenticeships during the 15 year period.

The private industry sectors of who have apprenticeship programs include Construction (58%), Advanced manufacturing (10%) Energy (7%), twenty percent (20%) of programs registered in Iowa include Retail, Hospitality, and Transportation. This Registered Apprenticeship Community is characterized by multiple effective partnerships involving varying combinations of Individual Employers, Employer Associations, Post-Secondary Institutions, Classroom Instructors, Apprenticeship Coordinators/Directors, Joint Apprenticeship Committees, Labor Representatives, the Public Workforce System and Government entities.  Throughout Iowa a strong partnership exists between Registered Apprenticeship Sponsors and the Post-Secondary Education Community.  Community Colleges have been instrumental in bridging the gap between Apprenticeship and College by facilitating structures  which encourage most apprentices in Iowa to earn Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees, or Technical Certifications which can broaden their future employment opportunities and make the state more attractive to employers seeking a skilled and educated workforce.  Several Community Colleges in Iowa Sponsor registered Apprenticeship programs.

Integration with Iowa Workforce and the Office of Apprenticeship has been tremendously successful. Iowa hosted the 1st in the Nation “Connect for Success” state wide conference, as well as developing the 1st workforce/apprenticeship website.

Workforce and the Office of Apprenticeship have partnered on numerous projects and together have been very successful in ensuring Registered Apprenticeship is included in numerous grants awarded to the state. Most recently Iowa Workforce Development seeks to procure services to put the preparatory work for Pre-Apprenticeship Curriculum and Education based on the work of the Iowa eXcell initiative through a contract to complete the following activities:

•Develop the deliverable of a model Pre-Apprenticeship high school construction trades curriculum.
•Implement a statewide communication effort in support of Pre-Apprenticeship.
•Test an integrated construction trades curriculum with students.
•Identify and engage four school district pilot sites to include large and medium-sized communities.
•Through a third-party process, evaluate the curriculum in pilot site schools.
•Initiate model Pre-Apprenticeship curriculum in Iowa pilot site school districts.

Iowa eXcell was a concept for developing a statewide building trades career exploration curriculum for high school students’ grade 9-12. It was developed to be the first curriculum in the nation to integrate all 17 skilled trades crafts into a pre-apprenticeship high school program that would be a part of Iowa school districts’ current curriculum offerings.

To Sum it up: Iowa’s Registered Apprenticeship programs have been successful in attracting applicants and in helping those applicants succeed in their chosen fields. The Registered Apprenticeship program has offered a valuable education and training alternative to thousands of Iowa’s workers eager to begin careers in the vocational trades. Apprentice graduates go on to earn higher, more stable wages than their peers who do not complete apprenticeship programs.

Greer  L. Sisson

Iowa State Director

U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship

210 Walnut Room 715

Des Moines IA 50309

Ph:   515-284-4691

Fax: 515 284-4195



For More information about Registered Apprenticeship in Iowa:

Submitted by John Griffin -



This past week, Secretary Solis’ Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA) met at the U.S. Department of Labor.  The ACA is working to develop recommendations on issues critical to the advancement of Registered Apprenticeship as part of the Secretary’s vision of “Good Jobs for Everyone”.  This is the second meeting of the ACA since Secretary Solis announced its new members on September 20, 2010.  What a fine looking group!