Congresswoman Sánchez applauds new initiative by Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles

July 24, 2008
Press Release
Award of $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor helps to fund mentoring services for women pursuing careers in the electrical field

Lakewood, CA -- Congresswoman Linda Sánchez today congratulated Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER) on their award of a $300,000 grant from the United States Department of Labor that provides for a groundbreaking initiative designed to establish mentor programs and leadership opportunities for women working in the electrical field in the Los Angeles County area.

“Because women are now - more than ever - feeling the effects of a poor economy, it is important that we encourage and support women who are preparing for the workforce or moving up the workforce ladder,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez. “Organizations such as WINTER reach out to women in our community and help our community to be better and stronger.”

Congresswoman Sánchez herself worked for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 441 and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) after graduating from law school. She is an active and card-carrying member of IBEW Local 441.

The program, titled “Partnership for Success: EMPOWER (Electrical Mentoring Programs Offering Women Extra Resources”, will be created and administered by WINTER. The overarching goal of the initiative is to support, train, and place women in the electrical field in the LA County area and to encourage them to develop awareness and leadership skills.

“Congresswoman Sánchez has been a leader in the industry and we appreciate her support,” said Alexandra Torres Galancid, the Executive Director of WINTER. “This ambitious grant allows us to provide technical assistance to provide technical assistance to employers on the value of hiring women, and to provide women with the skills and support they need to pursue gainful high-wage employment in the community.”

Congresswoman Sánchez has been a consistent champion for women in the workforce. Earlier this year, she introduced the “Pathways Advancing Career Training Act” (PACT) to help unemployed and underemployed women gain access to training for good jobs that can support a family.

“Nearly 7.5 million U.S. children living in poverty reside in female-headed households, and we have a responsibility to help those most in need,” Congresswoman Sánchez said. “If we are committed to the idea that every woman and child should have access to the American dream, we need quality training for well-paying jobs.”

The PACT Act would provide assistance to state programs that train women for employment in high-skill, high-wage fields where they are often underrepresented. Congresswoman Sánchez' bill would support programs that address barriers to employment for single parents, displaced homemakers, and divorced and widowed women re-entering the workforce after extended periods of time at home caring for family members.