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DOL WANTO Grant Expands Opportunities for Women

Female Worker standing in framed building holding floor plans

The U.S. Department of Labor announces The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant. The grant provides funding to recruit, train, and retain women in quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.

The goal is to encourage women to pursue male-dominated careers like manufacturing, infrastructure, and construction. WANTO is designed to help women enter apprenticeship programs and secure family-sustaining jobs.

Industries with Female Workers

In 2016, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that women accounted for more than half of all workers within several industry sectors:

  • 75% work in education and health services,
  • 52% work in financing, and
  • 51% works in hospitality.

Industries Lacking Female Workers

In several industry sectors, women accounted for less than half of the workers:

  • 29% work in manufacturing,
  • 25% work in agriculture,
  • 24% work in transportation and utilities,
  • 13% work in mining,
  • 9% work in construction, and
  • less than 10% of women are enrolled in apprenticeship programs.


Community-based organizations that encourage women’s employment in underrepresented occupations and pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeship programs will have access to grant funding through the WANTO grant program. This program will award at least $994,000 to these organizations.

To qualify organizations must offer one or more of the following:

  • Developing pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, or nontraditional skills training programs to prepare women for those careers;
  • Providing ongoing orientations for employers, unions, and workers on creating a successful environment for women to succeed in those careers, and
  • Setting up support groups and facilitating networks for women to improve their retention.

This grant will be administered by the Department of Women’s Bureau and the Employment and Training Administration. To learn more, visit the Women’s Bureau.

Release Date

July 17, 2018

Release Number



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