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October 6, 2008    DOL > WB > Strengthening the Family in the 21st Century   

Strengthening the Family in the 21st Century Initiatives

Better Jobs! Better Earnings! Better Living!

Today's Department of Labor (DOL) represents the workforce of the 21st Century. The Women's Bureau (WB), through its Strengthening the Family Initiatives – Better Jobs! Better Earnings! Better Living! and Value-Added Supporters!, will continue to prepare women for tomorrow’s jobs. The Bureau promotes an environment that is responsive to the demands and challenges of the 21st Century workforce. More than ever, it is vital to ensure opportunities for American women to achieve their potential in the workplace.

Better Jobs!

Current Projects

Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO), 2007

The Women’s Bureau (WB) and the Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) Office of Apprenticeship (OA) published a Solicitation for Grant Announcement in the April 22, 2008 Federal Register [April 22, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 78)] of the availability of $1,000,000 in WANTO grant funds for Program Year 2007.  It is anticipated that awards will be in the amount of approximately $300,000. The closing date for receipt of applications is June 6, 2008.

The focus of the current WANTO grants is the provision of technical assistance to employers and labor unions in their placement and retention of women in apprenticeships and non-traditional occupations in the construction industry.  The WB and OA plan to disburse 2007 WANTO funds to three community-based organization (CBO)/registered apprenticeship program (RAP) consortia, as defined in the Federal Register notice, to provide the technical assistance to employers and labor unions.

For further information about this SGA, please contact James Stockton, Grant Officer of the Division of Federal Assistance, at (202) 693-3335.

2006 - The Women's Bureau and the Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) Office of Apprenticeship, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), awarded three, 2-year WANTO grants for Program Year (PY) 2006. The grantees are equal recipients of the $972,180 in WANTO funds, which must be used to establish a program, in conjunction with employers and labor unions, for the purpose of placing at least 100 women each year into registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs in the construction industry.  The three 2006-2007 WANTO grantees are:  ANEW and Oregon Tradeswomen, INC. (OTI) (A Pacific Northwest Consortium), Renton, WA; Hard-Hatted Women (HHW), Cleveland, Ohio; and Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services (PV Jobs), Los Angeles, California.

Contact: Suzanne Burnette, Women's Bureau's National Office (Washington, DC), (202) 693-6710; or Franchella Kendall, ETA's Office of Apprenticeship (Washington, DC), (202) 693-3813).

Working Women in Transition

Working Women in Transition (WWIT) is a multi-regional (I, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X) demonstration project focusing on women who are making a transition in their work lives. WWIT uses the Bureau’s unique strategy of combining both “high tech” and “high touch” components (online and interpersonal resources) to assist women in finding employment, increasing their earnings and/or entering into career education/training opportunities. Participants have access to online mentors (“e-mentoring”), online employment tools, and distance learning resources while also working with local service providers. Each region focuses on a different target population addressing their specific issues and concerns. For 2008, the WWIT project has had several projects successfully completed while expanding to include three new sites (Region VIII, IX, and X) working with Native American women.

Visit the WWIT web site at: for specific areas of focus. The Bureau has undertaken this ambitious project with the support of the national contractor--the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

For information about the WWIT, contact : Paulette Lewis, Region IV (Atlanta, GA), (404) 562-2336 and/or Suzanne Burnette, National Office (Washington, DC), (202) 693-6710.

Military Spouse Resource Center

A joint project between the Department of Labor's Women's Bureau (WB), Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy in cooperation with the Department of Defense (DOD), this online learning tool and resource guide helps military spouses access training and placement opportunities, community resources, and their local workforce development systems. The Resource Center Web site,, is managed by ETA and DOD.

Contact: Sarah Miller, National Office (Washington, DC), (202) 693-6710.

Better Earnings!

Wi$e Up

Wi$e Up is a financial education demonstration project targeted to Generation X and Y women. The centerpiece of the program is an eight-module curriculum offered online, as well as in a classroom setting, in educational institutions and other organizations in eight Women’s Bureau regions (I, II, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, X). In the online program, the curriculum is complemented by an “Ask the Experts” feature, which permits participants to send questions by e-mail to volunteers with financial expertise. Another feature available to participants in both the online and classroom-based versions is a series of bi-monthly, one-hour teleconference calls with featured speakers and a question and answer session. Participants and experts (mentors) are recruited by local organizations who partner with the Women’s Bureau. Please visit the Wi$e Up Web site at:

Contact: Beverly Lyle, Region VI (Dallas, TX), (972) 850-4700 and/or Jane Walstedt, National Office (Washington, DC), (202) 693-6710.

Financial Literacy for Native Women

In partnership with Native Public Media (NPM) based in Oakland, California, the Women’s Bureau (Region IX) managed the Financial Literacy for Native American Women demonstration project. This project used the Wi$e Up curriculum (see above) to educate women in rural, isolated communities about financial literacy. Using public service announcements, podcasts and local community classes, this project helped Native American women gain financial knowledge via reservation based public radio stations and programs.

Building upon the NPM financial literacy outreach efforts, the Women's Bureau is currently working with Coconino County Career Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, to offer additional WI$E Up classroom activities on reservations and thru tribal and community organizations within the NPM broadcast area. Financial information is taught using an approach that is culturally appropriate to the Native American communities.

Contact : JennyErwin, Region IX (San Francisco, CA), (415) 625-2640.

Better Living!


The goal of the Flex-Options project is to help businesses create or enhance workplace flexibility policies and programs for their workforces. The project brings together corporate executives and employers who volunteer to mentor business owners interested in developing flexible workplace policies and programs. When employers redesign work and implement flexible work options, employees are better able to manage work and life responsibilities. Business owners realize positive bottom line impacts as well. Bimonthly teleconferences focus on important flexible work arrangement issues such as trends in workplace flexibility, challenges to flexible work arrangements, job sharing, legal issues, and best practices. All ten Women's Bureau regions are participating in the project. Additional information is available on the Flex-Options Web site at: or

Contact: Frances E. Jefferson, Region VIII (Denver, CO), (303) 844-1286 Jacqueline Cooke, Region I (Boston), (617) 565-1988 and/or Michael Williams, National Office (Washington, DC), (202) 693-6710.

Value-Added Supporters!


In response to the President's Management Agenda effort to bring people closer to government, the Women's Bureau launched e-News in April 2002 -- an electronic newsletter designed to inform women workers about the Bureau's programs and activities. Previous editions of e-News have focused on Women's History Month, Women and Technology, Economic Security, Strengthening the Family, Jobs and Economic Growth, Tax Relief and Financial Security, Women’s Bureau Projects (for Better Jobs! Better Earnings! and Better Living!), Women Business Owners, National Women’s Leadership Summits, Women Business Owners, and Women’s Bureau Success Stories. View the current edition of e-News at

Contact: Beth Gable-Hicks, National Office (Washington, DC), (202) 693-6710.

Leadership Forums

The Women’s Bureau holds information forums that bring together women leaders from faith-based organizations, chambers of commerce, employers, corporate America, local industry, and state and local governments to learn about and discuss the Women’s Bureau’s demonstration projects. At the forums, the Women’s Bureau provides guidance to enable attendees to replicate the projects in their states and communities. In fiscal years (FY) 2004 - 2008, the Women’s Bureau held forums in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

Contact : Karen Furia, National Office (Washington, DC), (202) 693-6710.


One of the primary goals of the Women’s Bureau is to expand successful demonstration projects through replication. Project replication allows the Bureau to reach significantly larger numbers of women who can greatly benefit from WB project models. These models are effectively designed to prepare women for better job opportunities, generate better earnings potential, and promote better living. In 2007, over 25 supporters became involved with replicating or expanding WB projects; with more than 800 participants receiving services from projects replicated or developed.

Contact : Karen Hornstein, National Office (Washington, DC), (202) 693-6710.

Previous Projects

Phone Numbers