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Shapiro Administration Highlights Philadelphia Pre-Apprenticeship Program Preparing Young Women for Careers in Building and Construction Trades


Contact: Trevor Monk,

Philadelphia, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) today visited Philadelphia to highlight "Rosie's Girls" – a registered pre-apprenticeship program designed to expand opportunities, build diverse talent, and help increase the representation of women in the building and construction trades.

"Rosie's Girls" is supported by Apprentice Training for the Electrical Industry (ATEI), in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 98. The program serves individuals in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

"To meet the demands of today's workforce, while also preparing the next generation of skilled workers, we must continue to find innovative ways to engage underrepresented groups in family-sustaining, career-building jobs," said L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker. "On behalf of L&I, I applaud the work ATEI is doing to expand access to opportunities that empower young women to advance their careers, become leaders in their industry, and ultimately strengthen their communities."


In August, the Shapiro Administration awarded ATEI $115,169 in grant funding to enhance its "Rosie's Girls" pre-apprenticeship program, prepare participants for advanced training in the electrical industry, and familiarize young women with careers in energy solutions, broadband, solar, nuclear infrastructure, and more.

"The students in our 'Rosie's Girls' pre-apprenticeship program are not just learning the electrical trade. They are dismantling the outdated blueprint of industry gender roles, proving that skill knows no gender," said Brian Myers, training director with IBEW Local 98. "With each receptacle and switch they wire, and with every blueprint they read, the 'Rosie's Girls' pre-apprentices are crafting a future where 'non-traditional' fades away and 'opportunity for all' takes its rightful place."

ATEI also serves as the training arm for the Penn-Del-Jersey chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.
According to a recent equity snapshot from the U.S. Department of Labor focused on demographic information, women only represented 13% of the completed registered apprenticeships in 2022 and accounted for 15% of new apprentices. Overall, in 2022, women only made up 10.9% of the construction industry. 

To address this deficit, in August, L&I announced grant funding through its Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Building and Construction Trades through Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships initiative, which aims to create career pathways for populations underrepresented in the trades, including women. 

Similarly, in the 2023-2024 budget, Governor Josh Shapiro secured $23.8 million to build partnerships between career and technical education and $6 million to fund apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programming within in-demand and non-traditional industries that are in critical need of workers.

Established in 2016, L&I's Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) is responsible for guiding and promoting the expansion and compliance of all registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth. The ATO currently supports 876 unduplicated program sponsors, 97 registered pre-apprenticeship programs, and 1,589 occupation-specific registered apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth, with 16,682 registered apprentices currently active.

Additional information is available on the L&I website at or by following us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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