*Currently the Construction and Skilled Trades Pre-Apprenticeship is ONLY available in Morgantown and Charleston. For the Advanced Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship located in Huntington, WV, please click "Programs > Advanced Manufacturing" at the top of the page.
Step Up for Women is a tuition free employment based skilled trades training program designed to prepare adult women for entry level positions in the construction industry and registered apprenticeships.
WHY CHOOSE TO ATTEND THE STEP UP FOR WOMEN TRAINING PROGRAM?
- We have over 10 years of experience in training women in the trades and helping them secure jobs.
- We work with graduates until they are employed, no matter how long it takes! We want you to enter a new career, not just get a job!
- Our program is tuition-free, so you don’t have to go into debt to learn skills to start your new career.
WHY WORK A BLUE-COLLARED JOB IN THE TRADES?
- Great wages. As an entry level employee your pay can range from $9 to $14 an hour, and in some cases offer benefits. After additional on the job training and/or completing an apprenticeship program you can earn up to $35 an hour.
- Many employers include classroom training in addition to on the job training.
- You decide how far you can go. In this industry you can learn as many skills as you want and keep moving up. What you can achieve is all up to you.
- Construction jobs are a great option for individuals that have a less than perfect record.
HOW DOES STEP UP PREPARE WOMEN FOR SKILLED TRADES CAREERS?
- Key Benefits of Attending Step Up for Women:
While we do not pay students to attend training, we offer Step Up tuition free. Students also receive transportation reimbursement of 12 cents a mile along with a $55 clothing reimbursement and/or steel toed work boots to start the training. When students graduate they receive a set of tools to begin work with.
- Hands-On Training:
Students will cycle through Carpentry, Electrical Wiring, and Plumbing, so you don’t pick one, you get all three! We believe in teaching students by them doing the work and not just watching.
- Women’s Career Readiness:
Our students learn the essential skills to prepare, find, and keep a job including: resume writing, interview skills, job hunting techniques, effective communication, budgeting and credit, and basic math review.
- Trades Exploration/Industry Overview:
While attending Step Up you will be able to explore different trades and career paths. Students will have the opportunity to meet with former graduates that are working in non-traditional jobs, meet representatives from unions, commercial and residential companies, and take field trips to different construction sites and apprenticeship training centers.
While attending Step Up you can attain the following: OSHA 10 construction safety card, Electrical Apprentice License, and Plumbers in Training License. The Carpenter Helper Certification is available at the North Central and Kanawha Valley Training sites only.
- Physical Readiness:
A perk of the program is a gym membership. Being able to do the work is very important so you actually go to the gym to strength train during class time.
- Eligibility Guidelines:
18 years or older
GED or High School diploma
Valid driver’s license or ability to obtain one during class
Access to reliable transportation
Basic English speaking skills
A stable living situation
Stable mental health
Physical fitness level sufficient to do physical labor all day
Willing to pursue and accept an entry level construction job
- Course Length and Dates:
The program is 11 weeks long so that you get trained and start working in your new career as soon as possible. Class times are Monday through Thursday from 9am to 5pm. The spring course runs March through May and the fall course runs August through November. The next course will begin March 2, 2015. Applicants are encouraged to apply 6 months in advance.
- Application Process:
Submit the Step Up application either online or by mail.
If determined eligible, attend an interview with the Step Up Coordinator.
Complete the required assignments given during the interview to be eligible for acceptance.
If accepted, attend an orientation session prior to the start of class.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
- What tests do applicants take during the application process?
Applicants are required to take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) at their local WorkForce WV or Adult Learning Center. Participants take the TABE test during the application process and again before graduating from the program. We use this basic reading and math test to gauge how much you have improved during the course of the program. This is not a pass or fail test and your score will not stop you from being accepted.
- What is expected of a student?
Students are expected to be on time and in attendance everyday for class, actively participate in class activities, maintain a positive attitude, and pursue and accept an entry level construction job during or after graduating the class.
- Will I have to pay any money?
No. Students do not pay the tuition. Students are required to apply for designated grant funding. If students are determined ineligible, WV Women Work will pay the tuition in the form of a scholarship.
- What are “non-traditional” jobs?
The U.S. Department of Labor defines nontraditional occupations as those in which women comprise less than 25 percent of the total workers. This category includes a vast range of jobs. Step Up for Women focuses on skilled trades construction jobs because they pay more and provide better benefits, even to those without college degrees.
- What are some of the challenges women face going into blue collar skilled trades jobs?
~Skilled trade professions are both physically and mentally demanding. They require a lot of bending, lifting and carrying.
~Most jobs require very early hours and some require the ability to travel.
~Year round outdoor work is required in most jobs- even on the coldest winter days and the hottest summer days while lugging gear and tools.
~While the numbers are growing, very few women work in construction. This means women should expect and be capable of working in a predominantly male environment.
- Who is the typical student?
The typical student is between the ages of 25 and 45 with very little or no construction experience. About half of our students are heads of households and many are single parents supporting their family.
- What kind of job placement assistance do students receive?
The main goal of our program is to help students land an entry level construction job. Our experienced instructors teach students job development methods and coach them through the unique process of securing a construction job. Instructors write resumes and provide technical assistance in getting them into the hands of hiring professionals. Also, students get the opportunity to meet with registered apprenticeship program representatives and tour their training centers. We are proud to boast that across the state we consistently maintain an 80% or higher placement rate in every class.
- Can students choose their courses?
No. During training students cycle through Carpentry, Electrical, and Plumbing together as a group. So you don't pick one, you get alll three!
- Where have graduates gone to work?
March-Westin Company, Inc.
Orders Construction Company
West Virginia University Physical Plant
Tri County Electric
Nova Electrical Enterprises
Kokosing Constuction Company
Vivint Home Automation and Security
WV Department of Highways
Over 15 Registered Apprenticeship Programs
Starting their own businesses