Chris Schulz Published

DHHR Partnership Supports New Career Pathways For Women

A woman wearing a high visibility vest and white hardhat speaks into a radio device while inspecting piping.
A woman speaks into a radio device while inspecting piping.
Courtesy of the Department of Health and Human Resources

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is partnering with several organizations to create new career pathways for women. 

DHHR’s Bureau for Family Assistance wants to help women explore, train, and secure employment in non-traditional occupations, especially skilled trades via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training program.

Partners in the endeavor include West Virginia Women Work (WVWW), as well as local employers in meat processing and water treatment.

Women are often encouraged to explore careers in traditional roles, such as caregiving or service industry positions, and away from high paying careers in skilled trades. 

The WVWW Step Up program is a tuition-free, employment-based skilled trade training program designed to prepare women for entry-level industry positions and registered apprenticeships. Classes are offered in both construction and manufacturing starting in August.

Buzz Meats has agreed to interview WVWW Step Up graduates for full-time employment following successful completion of a program under development, and the West Virginia Rural Water Association will promote women’s access to its apprenticeship program and help more women find employment in the water treatment sector.