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    :: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 ::

    New York’s Construction Boom Puts More Women in Hard Hats - By ANNIE CORREAL, New York Times
    Ms. Aguilar is part of a small but noteworthy shift in the construction industry: since 2005, more women have gone into the building trades in New York City than at any other period in history, according to trade union officials.

    The women are training to be electricians, plumbers, steamfitters, ironworkers, bricklayers and, most often, carpenters. In the New York City District Council of Carpenters, 280 of 2,000 apprentices, or 14 percent, are women. Most are finding commercial construction jobs.

    Though the work sites are decidedly male-dominated, the appearance of more women in hard hats is a result of a campaign by the city and some unions. In 2005, as a construction boom swept the city, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg formed a commission to recruit members of minorities, military veterans, high-school dropouts and women into the building trades.

    At the same time, local trade unions agreed to fill 10 percent of new positions in apprenticeship programs with women — the carpenter’s union set its goal at 15 percent — and the State Department of Labor allowed women to jump to the front of the line when trade unions recruited apprentices instead of making them go through the traditional lottery system.
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