Thursday, March 6, 2008

Women Working in Wyoming (in good blue collar jobs, no less)

A story in the NYT entitled "A New Job Track for Single Mothers in Wyoming" brings together my two key interests: women and rurality.

The word "rural" is not used in the story, and the dateline is Cheyenne, population 50,000. Nevertheless, Wyoming is a largely rural state with a total population of just over half a million (ranked 50th in the nation) and a population density of just 5 persons/square mile. The story reports on a job training program, which extends beyond Cheyenne, that responds to some of the particular challenges that women face in the context of rural job markets, where women are much more likely than in urban ones to be channeled into low-paying service jobs. Here is a program that seems to successful in getting women some of the good blue-collar jobs that men have tended to monopolize in places like Wyoming. But Kirk Johnson's piece features another slice of feminism, too, which he labels "female solidarity."

Here's an excerpt:
Here in a state with the highest gap in the nation between a woman’s wage and a man’s, and a divorce rate 30 percent above the national average, some women are finding a new way to storm the economic barricades.

They are working with an unusual nonprofit organization, Climb Wyoming, which takes women who have absorbed a few of life’s body blows — bad or absent men, drugs, public assistance and jail are all common stories — and combines free job training with psychological counseling.

But Climb Wyoming’s real core insight is female solidarity — that the group, trained and forged together more like a platoon than a class, will become an anchor of future success. New skills can go only so far in changing a life, the group’s trainers say; sometimes it takes a sisterhood.


Padmanaban said...

Job trend has changed nowadays as most of them are looking for high paying jobs. There are lots of job openings since many companies are in need of smart employers with adequate knowledge

Padmanaban said...
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