IR #2001-02
Monday, March 26, 2001

Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050


Event: A coalition of labor and government groups sponsor a tribute to Rosie the Riveter and Bay Area tradeswomen and an apprenticeship fair

Date: March 27, 2001
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Place: Rosie the Riveter Memorial, Richmond, California

Special information: In recognition of March as Women's History Month and more specifically, March 27 as California Tradeswomen Day, more than 300 junior and high school students from the Bay Area will attend a tribute that will link the tradition of Rosie the riveter with tradeswomen currently employed in nontraditional fields. The event includes premiere of a six-minute oral history videotape about the Rosies by award-winning filmmakers and an apprenticeship fair that features interactive displays in welding, fabricating, plumbing and heavy equipment operation and booths staffed by apprenticeship coordinators from 11 trades.

Background information: Because women make up only 7.6 percent of the 60,000 registered apprentices in California, the California Department of Industrial Relations - which oversees the state's apprenticeship programs - and a coalition of unions and other government programs are kicking off in the Bay Area a statewide information campaign to promote apprenticeships as a viable career path for high school students, particularly young women. Not everyone will earn an advanced degree from one of California's outstanding institutions of higher learning. And to make a good income with benefits, not everyone needs to. While experts say education accounts for important variations in earnings, skilled workers are in high demand and the law of supply and demand means good wages for those with the right skills. In California, the construction industry is booming, especially in the residential sector. Apprenticeships, a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction which last approximately four to five years in the construction industry, offer California youth decent pay, benefits and health and safety training.

Visuals: Rosie the Riveter Memorial, the only one of its kind in the United States, is the site for a program that will feature recognition of San Francisco Bay Area tradeswomen and approximately five Rosies, women employed during World War II in the defense industry in Richmond. Interactive displays include welding, fabricating, plumbing and operation of a scissor truck. Program includes recognition of 36 tradeswomen who will receive a letter signed by Gov. Gray Davis and a gubernatorial proclamation declaring March 27 as California Tradeswomen Day. For more information see

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