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AFL-CIO Now

A New Woman: Program Prepares New York Women in the Building Trades

The Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) program in New York City prepares women for careers in construction and related industries through an innovative training and placement program that guides low-income women toward a meaningful career and solid financial footing.

More than 800 NEW graduates have kicked off their careers since 2005 and have increased the ranks of women in construction apprenticeships—a concerted and coordinated effort between NEW, labor unions, contractors and the government.

“The unions were really the first to step up and make that commitment,” says Amy Peterson, president of NEW. “Women are 10% of the apprentices in New York City and that’s just amazing.”

This video highlights some of the NEW apprentices, a couple of its signature projects and how NEW has radically altered their lives.

“I have four girls, four girls that look at me as a leader,” says apprentice Josefina Calcano.

Read more stories about apprenticeships and training on the AFL-CIO's @ Work website

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