Closing the Skills Gap with Plant Tours, Pep Talks and Child Care
By Laura Putre
But employment counselors encouraged her to apply for a training program in the Cincinnati metropolitan area, started by 26 women hailing from the education, manufacturing and nonprofit worlds. The founders of the program, called Raise the Floor saw middle-skill manufacturing jobs as a way for women to move out of poverty. According to 2016 data from the nonprofit Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women hold fewer than 10% percent of jobs in the growing areas of advanced manufacturing and transportation/distribution/logistics.
The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, which focuses on issues of economic self-sufficiency for women, also provides scholarships for moms to pay for childcare while they’re in the training. (Women in job training programs complete their training in far higher numbers if they have childcare assistance, while men are most in need of housing assistance, an IWPR survey of 168 such training programs found.)
In addition, the Women’s Fund has financed some employer roundtables to help manufacturers get a better grasp of how they can make their workplace more welcoming to women and fill open positions.