Women Ironworkers Receive Funding to Attend a Leading National Convention of Women in the Trades
Recognizing the importance of women in the construction sector, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers announced a scholarship fund for members to attend a leading annual conference on women in the building trades.
The scholarships have been awarded to 26 women ironworkers and apprentices from local unions and training centers in the union’s membership across the U.S. and Canada. The scholarship recipients will join more than a hundred members of the International Association of Iron Workers who will attend the Fourth Annual Women Building California and the Nation Conference in Sacramento, Calif., April 25-27, 2014.
Iron Workers International General President Walter W. Wise, said the scholarships are part of the union’s commitment to supporting the inclusion and successful careers of women. The International is co-funding the scholarships with its labor-management partnership, the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust, IMPACT.
The scholarships are a “critical element” of the union’s mission to recruit and retain women, General President Wise said. The funds for members to attend cover travel, lodging and registration expenses.
“Providing support -- financial or otherwise -- to our sister ironworkers is the first step towards recruiting, training, and providing opportunities as a skilled ironworker,” said Wise, who will attend the conference and take part in a panel.
Currently, there are 2,000 women members of the International Iron Workers.
The conference is co-sponsored by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and the State Building and Construction Trades of California.
The conference has grown exponentially since its beginning 13 years-ago as a California-only endeavor; four years ago, it expanded to national status, organizers said. The 2014 conference will feature panels, speakers and working sessions focused on strategies and tactics for improving performance standards across the industry for women and for all construction workers and companies.
Scheduled topics to be covered at the conference include Surviving and Thriving in Apprenticeships, Safety and Health on the Job; How to Interview Well; Mentoring the Next Generation; Doing the Green Work, and other construction industry issues.
Lisa Lockhart, a 20-year member of Local Union 112 in Peoria, Illinois, said she was recently pleased to learn she had been selected to receive the scholarship to attend the conference.
“I’ve wanted to attend this conference for a number of years, but couldn’t manage the expenses,” said Lockhart. “Now, I’m really looking forward to participating, and learning more. I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I definitely see this as a good sign of positive progress for the International.”