Non-Traditional Careers for Women

In response to the fact that women represent only three percent of the workforce in the career cluster of engineering technology, manufacturing, and construction, the North Puget Sound Regional Consortium of community and technical colleges launched a grant project aimed at increasing the number of women in these careers. The colleges, which include Shoreline, Bellevue, Cascadia, Edmonds, Lake Washington, North Seattle, and Seattle Central partnered with the Puget Sound Center which managed the project. The project began in January 2003 and concluded in June 2003.

Reaching young women was the focus, and included two components:

  1. Interactive Presentations
  2. Non-Traditional Web Site

Nearly 200 high school girls participated in interactive presentations about engineering technology, manufacturing, and/or construction. Presenters included female industry workers, college instructors, and female college students currently in the programs. A variety of methods were used to present the information to the students, including hands-on handling of industry tools, videos of onsite work, personal stories, and interactive discussions.

The Non-Trad Web site, located at:, was developed to promote nontraditional higher wage training and employment for women in engineering technology, manufacturing, and construction. This Web site describes each career pathway, desired skills, job titles, wages, benefits, and training opportunities. In addition, information is included on financial aid, resource links to related Web sites, and a page designed for young women interested in non-traditional careers.


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