Diversity and Inclusion in the Building Trades


The Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council is committed to expanding union construction career opportunities for women and advocating for diversity and inclusion in the union construction workforce.


Uniting the Tradeswomen who are Building Iowa's Future

The Iowa Women in Trades network is a statewide community of construction tradeswomen who are building a secure economic future for ourselves and our families, linking more women with apprenticeship training opportunities, promoting equity and respect on the jobsite, and sharing resources for tradeswomen’s success. Iowa Women in Trades holds monthly meetings and plans leadership events in partnership with the University of Iowa Labor Center, the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council and local building trades unions, and Registered Apprenticeship programs across the state to promote pathways for women’s success in construction careers. 

The Iowa Women in Trades Network promotes leadership and peer networks among tradeswomen while developing programs to recruit and retain women in the skilled trades, including:

  • Monthly statewide meetings with skilled trades guest speakers
  • Actively recruiting women to Apprenticeship Readiness Courses
  • Mentoring discussions linking women journey-worker, apprentices, and preapprentices
  • Annual Statewide Women in Trades Leadership Summit



Considering a Career in the Trades?

Registered Apprenticeship programs in Iowa offer state-of-the-art training in over a dozen skilled construction trades, with paid on-the-job instruction as well as tuition-free classroom training, resulting in an industry-recognized credential that is respected nationwide. These programs meet U.S. Department of Labor guidelines and are typically one to five-year programs. Apprentices in joint labor-management (union) apprenticeship programs earn scheduled raises, health insurance, and retirement benefits as they advance through the program.

Whether you are interested in becoming a bricklayer, carpenter, electrician, insulator, iron worker, laborer, roofer, operating engineer, painter, plumber or pipefitter, sheet metal worker, or cement mason you can learn more about the skilled trades and their apprenticeship programs by contacting us or or this guide from the Iowa College Access Network.


Looking for Resources to Promote Equity, Respect, and Tradeswomen's Success on the Job?

The Iowa Women in Trades Network also works to compile resources for tradeswomen, unions, and construction employers to promote safe, productive, and respectful jobsites. In addition to classes and conferences hosted by the University of Iowa Labor Center, several longstanding tradeswomen's initiatives across the country maintain great online resources such as: 


Are you a tradeswoman in Central Iowa or interested in the trades but not sure where to start? Join our group on Facebook to connect and learn about upcoming events! We are proud to partner with the Iowa Women in Trades Network associated with University of Iowa Labor Center




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