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CONTACT: CHARLES S. DRUM
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0048; fax (319) 384-0024
email : charles-drum@uiowa.edu

Release: June 10, 1999

UI prevocational training program will end June 30

IOWA CITY, Iowa--The Pre-Vocational Training Program at the University of Iowa will end June 30.

Since 1989 this unique program has offered an assortment of programs and services to Eastern Iowa and the state that encouraged women to explore opportunities in the skilled and technical trades. Major funding came from competitive grants from the federal government, including the Carl Perkins Vocational Education fund with additional support from the University of Iowa.

"The new state plan for use of Perkins’ funding in Iowa does not include grant options to support programs to guide women towards nontraditional occupations," says Nancy Noyer, program director. The change prompted the university to make the difficult decision to end the program, she says.

The University of Iowa was a leader in using its vast maintenance system to offer women the opportunity to work alongside experienced trade and technical workers--usually men--to gain the experience and skills necessary to move into actual job opportunities. More than a hundred graduates are now working as skilled or technical tradespeople or are in training to enter skilled or technical trades. Their occupations include carpenters, electronic technicians, drafters, electricians, bricklayers, locksmiths, facilities mechanics, painters, and glaziers.

"Collaboration among industry, labor, community agencies, and the UI helped create a diverse pool of qualified candidates for employment both here at the university and in the community," Noyer says. "Women who enter these nontraditional careers make an average $3.35 more per hour than if they’d stayed in occupations dominated by women."