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CA Gov Signs Bill to Increase Women’s Participation in Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

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When it comes to closing the gender pay gap, California might be as good as it gets in the U.S.. But that doesn’t mean the gap is gone.

Governor Brown understands this fight for equality in the workplace is far from over, and recently signed a bill designed to offer women better access to good paying construction jobs. Assembly Bill 2288 centers around the recruitment of women for pre-apprenticeship programs and is part of a broader agenda he set forward to strengthen economic security for women in his state:

[AB 2288] will require pre-apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades funded by the federal Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to develop a plan for outreach, recruitment, and retention of women. This bill was a priority of the Stronger California 2016 Legislative Agenda, which seeks to ensure women’s economic security across the state.

The legislation takes direct aim at the pay gap. Currently, less than 3% of construction apprentices in California are women. Advocates celebrated the signing of the new law, according to

“Pre-apprenticeship programs are a critical pathway to careers in the higher-paid, traditionally male-dominated skilled trades, and increasing women’s participation in these programs will help close the gender wage gap in California, which is particularly egregious for women of color,” said Jessica Stender, Senior Staff Attorney at Equal Rights Advocates and Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen Issues. “Women currently make up just 2.2% of construction apprentices across the state. We applaud Governor Brown for signing Assembly Bill 2288, which will open the doors for more women to enter these fields, and we will work to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of this important new law.”

AB 2288, which can be read in its entirety, is considered a positive step for local development as well:

This bill would require the California Workforce Development Board and each local board to ensure that federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 funds respectively awarded by them for pre-apprenticeship training in the building and construction trades fund programs and services that follow the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum implemented by the State Department of Education and that develop a plan to help increase the representation of women in those trades, as specified. The bill would require the California Workforce Development Board to develop policies to implement these provisions. By imposing new requirements on the local workforce development boards, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.


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