CMJTS’ Women-on-the-Move project focuses on serving women ages 16 and over, particularly women of color. The project will help women identify better-paying jobs in traditionally male-dominated professions (e.g. manufacturing-related careers, commercial driving), where their talents and interests will be put to good use. CMJTS is partnering with Ridgewater College customized training to provide a two-week course that offers an introduction to manufacturing and production occupations. The idea is to help women move from lower paid occupations with less opportunity (e.g. retail and hospitality) to traditionally male-dominated jobs with better hours, pay, benefits, and opportunities for advancement. We want our participants to see that there are good opportunities for women and that many women in our area can and do find success in production/manufacturing.
The two-week course will include overviews on a variety of manufacturing processes. Safety practices will also be emphasized. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to become certified in fork-lift operation. The program will include local manufacturing tours where participants can make real connections with local employers. These employers will provide trainees with facility tours, show them what their positions involve, and introduce them to other women who are working there and are happy with their jobs.
The Women-on-the-Move project will then help these women obtain the training necessary to enter these fields. Career coaching and mentorship will be provided by women already successful in nontraditional arenas and it is expected that at least half of the women served will also be enrolled in additional employment and training programs to help them achieve success.
The first cohort of trainees completed the program on February 21, 2020. Thirteen women completed the program successfully and eleven of them obtained the forklift certification. Two of the women obtained unsubsidized employment shortly after completion.