The Step up for women program is helping to close the gender gap

In West Virginia, good-paying jobs are not plentiful. Add the gender wage gap that still exists for women overall, and the job market can look bleak for women in the Mountain State.

The Step Up for Women Program from West Virginia’s Women Work organization aims to change that. Over this 12-week training course women learn the construction basics. And many SUFW program graduates continue their instruction through skilled construction trades training programs. There they move from apprentice to Journeywoman – all the while earning as they learn. And unlike their college-educated peers, these women graduate without crushing student loan debt and enter the workforce earning great wages and generous benefits.

While the gender wage gap in many industries disproportionately favors men. The gap found in the construction trades is far more equitable. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that women in construction earn 94% on the dollar when compared to male co-workers.

Step Up for Women is preparing women all across the mountain state for lifelong careers with excellent wages, good benefits and both financial and job security. With successful programs like SUFW, the future will no doubt find many more West Virginia women in skilled positions within the construction industry.

Training women in construction — and the employers who hire them