New Tri-County Program Aims to Help More Women Find Work

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A new program in Aroostook, Hancock and Washington Counties aims to put more women to work.

The focus is on jobs they might not normally consider, too.

WANTO is Women in Apprenticeship and Non Traditional Occupations.

It's a program for Aroostook, Hancock and Washington Counties to get women involved in nontraditional occupations which means occupations that are currently filled by less than 25% women, such as carpentry, construction, plumbing, electrical work and computer skills

Those three counties have historically had a problem with on-the-job training. Employers are smaller and may have been afraid of getting into the paperwork needed to provide on-the-job training, so this program will help them, too.

Aroostook County Action Program administers the program and is one of only four grant recipients in the United States to receive money for it. The goal is to spread the word and sign up women to begin training in March.

This gives women the opportunity to get into jobs that they thought they might not of been able to, get the skills they need and get connected to an employer

It also helps women who may be working two or three jobs just to pay the bills. This program can move them into a career that will give them the ability to get the income they need by working one job and taking care of their family.

Women or businesses interested in learning more about this grant can contact one of three representatives in their respective counties:

Aroostook - Erin Benson at 554-4165 or

Hancock - Gary Clingman at 667-2995 ext. 228 or

Washington - Patsy Smith at 598-5781 or