Empowerment. Here at Washington Women in Trades, it’s our middle name (and our first and last names also) For over 40 years, we’ve been committed to providing a conceptual leg up to teenagers just beginning to consider the high paid construction jobs as well as women looking to change careers. We support tradeswomen from apprenticeship through retirement through mentoring, networking and simply providing an educated empathetic ear.


While working with WWII Rosie the Riveters on our now out of print calendars, one of the regular interview questions was: “How did your work during WWII affect your life and the lives of your families?” Of course, we got lots and lots of answers, but one of the most pointed and powerful was: “I was financially able to leave a bad marriage.” Imagine how many women and children were saved from a life of family abuse because as a tradeswoman, a woman could finally AFFORD to hit the road. Financial security allows us a multitude of freedoms…


Here’s one woman’s story: Josie Dunn was a 17-year-old mother working in the cotton fields of Oklahoma when she was recruited by the National Youth Association to work in the war effort. She packed her bag, added some lunches and took a bus to Washington. When she landed at the shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, she was confused. Not only was she afraid of water and heights, she had understood that she was being sent to Washington DC. Josie eventually left Bremerton and settled in for the war as a riveter at Boeing. She riveted for over 40 years.


Because Josie created a financially stable life for herself, she was able to help nearly 100 friends and family leave the poverty of Oklahoma and thrive in the Pacific Northwest.


Empowerment is about the gut knowledge of a job well done. Drive around the city with a tradeswoman. She’ll point out all the projects on which she’s worked. “ I poured cement for that skyscraper.” “I did the rebar on that bridge.” “I repaired the windows in that fire station.”


At Washington Women in Trades it’s not just We Can Do it”, It’s “When”.


Here’s one of many tradeswoman videos...

https://www.opcmia.org/steel-edge-women/


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Each year Blossom partners with organizations that are in line with our mission and yearly focus. This years focus was economic empowerment, which is about helping make the lives of women and girls better by providing services and support that help enabled them to achieve economic success and have agency over financial decision-making. We will be collecting financial donations over the month of June (The Big Give), and then sending our collective gifts in July.


Check out or past recipients here.

To be a part of of our collective give go to our donation page.



Local Organization


WASHINGTON WOMEN IN TRADES

Home | Washington Women in Trades (wawomenintrades.com)

This all-volunteer organization has established itself as a group of industry experts who facilitate connections between the working woman, the ‘wanting-to-be-working’ woman, prospective employers and government agencies. We have educated students about women in non-traditional trades through attendance at school career days, participation in community events and conferences. We encourage networking, establish scholarships and counsel women through difficult work issues. Through hard work and partnership, we have had much success. While we enjoy celebrating that success, we have much more to do toward helping women both attain and retain high-wage, high-skilled careers. Unfortunately, the percentage of women in the construction trades is still dismal, and the need for trained workers is becoming nearly epidemic.


International Organization


OPPORTUNITY INTERNATIONAL

https://opportunity.org/

Opportunity International designs, delivers, and scales innovative financial solutions that help families living in extreme poverty build sustainable livelihoods and access quality education for their children. We equip families with the tools and training they need to build their businesses, improve their harvests, provide for their families, send their children to school, and break the cycle of poverty.



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OUR SISTER'S HOUSE - helping women go from domestic violence to understanding their self worth.

It’s not easy talking about something you get embarrassed about. What many people don't understand is that it get embarrassing telling people what has been done to you by someone you claim to love and who you think (at first) loves you.

I met him in high school and thought he was my knight in shining armor. It sounds so corny, but because I was overweight and everyone but him made fun of me, that’s what I thought. I didn’t realize then he was just pretending to be an ally, a friend, a confidant and eventually my boyfriend.


Years later, I met him again and at that point my self esteem had not been bolstered one bit. I still saw myself as that chubby, unloved, unwanted little girl; even though I was an adult. We started dating, I got pregnant, we had a son. And all through that time he was manipulating me, isolating me, physically and emotionally abusing me. But by that time I was so in love…all I thought was that I could change him and make him into the person I knew he could be. But he just took that and used it to manipulate me more. The black eyes, busted lips, missing hair on my head, bruised arms and legs were invisible to me because I told myself he didn’t mean it…but he did, he meant every rotten thing he had ever done to me and I simply ignored it.


By this time, my family and friends were all but gone having given up on helping me to see what was really going on. They finally told me they knew I was lying about all the bumps and bruises. When they tell you to your face they know, that’s when it really starts getting embarrassing. And then you have nowhere to turn, nowhere to go. You begin to sink into it all as the abuse becomes a normal part of your life. And then one day, you just disappear. You look at your world as if it’s not you, it’s someone else…you’re watching a video of horrors and this cannot be you…but it is. That’s when you realize you have to get out or you will never find yourself again. That’s when you know, that one day, you’ll never be able to come back if you don’t leave. That is when you have a moment of clarity and realize your life is at stake, and this is not normal, and this may be your only chance at freedom. That’s when you make the call. And if you are lucky, you can somehow, with whatever resources you have, pull yourself out of the hell you’ve been in, out of the nightmare, and wake up to your life. I had to do that, but I did not do it alone. I owe my life to the help that was out there.


So, whoever you are, wherever you work, in whatever capacity that assists victims of domestic violence…thank you! You have saved a life and I hope you know, I was worth it!

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