CONTACT: GEORGE McCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
UI offers training course for women interested in skilled trades
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Women who are interested in learning the physical,
technical, and life skills necessary to launch a career in a skilled trade
are invited to participate in a 12-week training course in the University
of Iowa Pre-Vocational Program.
The course is designed to prepare women to enter higher-paying jobs
in construction, maintenance, repair, and other technical fields.
The next session of the program runs from March 1 to May 21, and classes
are held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Morning sessions consist of
physical conditioning, technical math, career development, and life skills.
Afternoon sessions are spent rotating among the numerous maintenance and
technical shops around the UI campus. The students visit a different shop
each week and learn about each trade through job shadowing and hands-on
The program is free, and funds are available for transportation and
childcare. In past years women have traveled from as far as Cedar Rapids
and Davenport to participate.
"This program changes women's lives by giving them a chance for
economic self-sufficiency," said Jefri Palermo, training coordinator
for the program. "It gives women an experience of success and satisfaction
in having done something to improve their lives and the lives of their
The majority of the 200 women who have completed the program since it
began in 1990 have gone on to trade or technical schools, entered apprenticeship
programs, or been hired for entry-level jobs. The UI program is the only
pre-vocational program in the country that is based within a university
and is designed for women.
Most jobs in which women are traditionally employed pay between $5-$8
per hour. In Johnson County a woman with two young children must earn $13-$15
per hour to be economically self-sufficient. Jobs in technical and skilled
trades typically pay 30 percent more at entry level than traditional jobs
for women and offer benefits and opportunities for advancement.
The UI program, which is offered three times a year, is funded by the
Carl D. Perkins Technical and Vocational Education Act, the Women's Education
Equity Act, and the UI.
Interviews for the program begin Jan. 11. For more information or to
request an application, call (319) 335-0560 (collect calls are accepted).
(Editors Note: Interviews can be arranged with graduates of this program
who have gone on to successful trade careers. Contact Palermo or Nancy
Noyer at the Pre-Vocational Training Program, 335-0560.)