Support Women and Minorities in Registered Apprenticeship Programs

For the first time in 30 years, the United States Department of Labor ("DOL") is planning to amend the laws relating to how women and minorities participate in Registered Apprenticeship Programs. As part of the process to change the laws, the DOL will be asking the public to comment about how to improve these laws.

This is a rare and important opportunity for tradeswomen and their allies to tell the government about what is and what is not working in registered apprenticeship programs. It is critical that the government have a clear understanding of the challenges faced by women and minorities in these programs so that appropriate changes can be made to the laws.

Legal Momentum and the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen's Issues want to make sure that the government hears from you.


Learn more about women and minorities in apprenticeship programs and how we can impact the laws relating to those programs.

Public Feedback Needed

Legal Momentum and the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen's Issues want to make sure that the government hears from you. There are two phases to this process:

Phase 1

Make sure that the DOL hears from women who have real experiences with apprenticeship programs:

  1. Sign up to get email alerts when the DOL sends out their proposed changes and to get information about how to respond. Send us an email at to register.
  2. Tell other tradeswomen about the upcoming changes to the laws and how important it is for them to be involved and share their stories with the DOL. Ask them to visit the website at and to sign up for the email alerts.
  3. Tell your friends, families and collegues about the DOL proposals. Ask them to sign up for the email alerts too.
  4. Review the posted materials to learn more about the registered apprenticeship equal opportunity regulations and how to tell the DOL about your experiences:
    1. Review the slides posted on the website Apprenticeship Advocacy Presentation explaining more about this issue;
    2. Start thinking about the positive experiences that you had or the good practices that you saw in your apprenticeship program which you think should be shared to benefit others; and,
    3. Start thinking about the specific challenges which you faced in your apprenticeship program and what things could have been done which would have made your apprenticeship better.

Phase 2

When the DOL formally asks the public to comment on the laws, we will post a list of the specific questions that the DOL would like addressed. We will also post sample letters which you can use to create your own letter to submit to the DOL. It is important for you to think about the specific questions that the DOL is asking about and to try to address some of these questions in your letter. We will also provide you with information about where and when to send in your letter.

View the Apprenticeship Advocacy Presentation →

Resources & Materials

  • Date:
    March 4, 2014

    Construction Trades Are Not Just For Men

  • Date:
    March 21, 2013
    The Department of Labor’s affirmative action mandate adopted in 1978 has failed to achieve its purpose, as women still hold fewer than three percent of skilled trades apprenticeships and jobs. Legal Momentum, the nation’s oldest nonprofit advocating for the legal rights of women in America, announced the release of a report detailing how the U.S. Department of Labor’s affirmative action regulations intended to significantly increase women’s participation in registered apprenticeship programs has failed to do so. “Still Excluded – There Are Still Virtually No Women In The Federally Created And Supervised Apprenticeship System For The Skilled Construction Trades” is an important analysis of the problems in the federally-created national Registered Apprenticeship system, including lack of federal oversight (compliance reviews), underfunding of the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations Act, and discrimination and harassment of women who are in apprenticeships.
  • Date:
    March 1, 2013

    There are still virtually no women in the federally created and supervised apprenticeship system for the skilled construction trades.

  • A book for women and girls, men and boys—a book that celebrates women, their strength, the choices they make, the obstacles they overcome.

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