Women In Construction

How one innovative economic development program is challenging stereotypes, and providing job training and housing rehab along the way.

The Women in Construction Company--a project of the Women's Transitional Housing Coalition (WTHC) in Duluth, MN, is an economic development program designed to offer construction skills training to low income women. Since its inception in 2001, the program has helped women obtain employment in the construction trade. They also encourage women to start their own contracting businesses. As other jobs, such as housekeeping, cooking and tourism generally do not pay a living wage, "the trades offer a good inside track for job stability and financial security, but there are gender barriers to consider." According to one of the program founders, shifting the focus of the WTHC to do housing development provided an opportunity to "realize one of the coalition's longstanding goals: to get women into the lucrative construction trades."

Thanks to Connie Chung

Full Story: Building a Home and a Future

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