The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) Act was signed into law in 1992 for the purpose of providing technical assistance to employers and registered apprenticeship programs to increase access for women into nontraditional apprenticeships and occupations as these typical afford higher wages, better benefits, and career pathways.
WANTO is the only federal program designed specifically to help women enter nontraditional occupations, defined by law as those in which women make up 25% of the workforce or less. The Women’s Bureau lists over 120 occupations that meet the definition. The most frequent WANTO placements have been in the building trades, information technology, advanced manufacturing and transportation, which are generally higher paying than occupations traditionally held by women who do not have a four-year, post-secondary degree.
WANTO is jointly administered by the Women’s Bureau http://www.dol.gov/wb and the Employment Training Administration Office of Apprenticeship http://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship in the U.S. Department of Labor through a competitive application process and funded at a modest $1 million.
In addition to our industry partners including registered apprenticeship programs, employers and industry associations, we partner with local tradeswomen organizations to support their growth, leadership, and capacity-building. These include MNTradeswomen, Missouri Women in Trades, and Wisconsin Tradeswomen Network. If you are a tradeswomen organization, network, support group or building trades’ women’s committee in U.S. DOL Region 5 (Midwest) and would like more information on available technical assistance, please contact us at: email@example.com. Thank you!