YWCA receiving grant for women and minority workers and business owners

Program will award total of $90,000 in grant funding to eligible applicants across the state.

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BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The YWCA of Western Massachusetts will be receiving grant funding to promote equal opportunity for women and minority workers and small business owners in the construction industry.

The State Attorney General’s Equal Opportunity in the Construction Trades Grant program is providing funding to non-profit organizations, apprenticeship programs, labor unions, and vocational schools to conduct worker training and outreach programs.The grants will specifically address diversifying the industry, and create and expand economic opportunity for women and minorities.

According to a 2014 report by the National Women’s Law Center, women represent nearly half of the workforce but hold only 2.6 percent of all construction jobs nationwide. There are more than 7.6 million men working in the construction industry and only 206,000 women.The YWCA of Western Massachusetts, located in Springfield, will enroll 28 women in construction skills training.

The grant program utilizes funds from a settlement the AG’s Office reached with construction companies over allegations of falsely certifying compliance with equal opportunity requirements.This is one-year grant program that will run through May 31, 2018.