The 40th Annual

Women in Trades Fair
Friday, May 10, 2019!
9am - 2pm
Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center
Exhibitors Registration HERE
We have reached capacity for OUTDOOR exhibitors. Please consider an INDOOR table.

School Registration HERE

Need a FLYER?  Download below.

All are welcome.

Every spring for the last 40 years, Washington Women in Trades has created a place where over 1,000 people gather; some teach, some learn, some recruit, some apply for jobs, some are hired!

Exhibitors include apprenticeship programs, governmental agencies, colleges, vocational training and corporations. Among many others, past participants have included King County, Gary Merlino Construction Company, Inc., the Boeing Company, and the Seattle Fire Department. Training programs include apprenticeships with the Sprinkler Fitters, Carpenters, Laborers, Operating Engineers, Pipefitters and Electricians. There were over 80 exhibitors in 2017.

Some of the exhibits are outdoors. There's the inimitable Seattle City Light climbing pole, Seattle DOT's shovel test and King County Facilities' build project. Each provides a hands-on dynamic experience while learning about opportunities in the construction trades.

We encourage exhibitors to create interactive and enticing displays. Not only does it make learning more fun, it gives attendees an inside look at the craft. Also, the most creative exhibitors win a "best of" ribbon at the end of the day.

Schools from all over the region attend. Middle & High School aged students are introduced to the high paying, spirit empowering positions in the skilled trades.

Work Ready Women!
Work ready women (and men) attend to explore options, too. Sometimes, a match is made on the spot. The exhibitor walks away with a new enthusiastic hire and the woman walks away with a living wage job.

Questions? Contact us here

Special Thanks to everyone
at Seattle Center

Some History
40 years ago, a group of women newly working in skilled trades gathered together for  support and comraderie. Solidarity was important--they were a minority in the workplace and the issues of harassment, pay inequality, improperly fitting work clothing (PPE) and a variety of other frustrating obstacles were everyday occurrences. As the group evolved, they realized that one way to influence change was to encourage more women to venture into trades occupations. (safety in numbers...) That's when the fair was born.
The first Women in Trades Fair was held on Saturday, November 10, 1979 at the Seattle Labor Temple on First Avenue in downtown Seattle. It featured workshops with topics such as How to Enter the Trades, Overcoming Math Anxiety, Affirmative Action - Racism & Sexism on the Job, and How to Survive in the Trades. There were booths & demonstrations that showcased carpentry, electrical, firefighting, appliance repair, forklift driving and more. It was interpreted for the deaf and child care was provided. The event was produced by Mechanica & the University YWCA with support from, to name a few, the King County Women's Program, Operating Engineers Local 302, The Seattle Office of Women's Rights, the DOL Women's Bureau, National Electrical Contractor's Association and more. It was an ambitious undertaking and an inspiration to everyone who attended. 
So. It's 2019 and thirty nine Trade Fairs have come and gone. Every current tradeswoman, at some time in her career, experiences the same struggles as did those women in 1979. The percentage of women working in skilled trades remains dismal and sometimes the glass ceiling seems to get thicker and thicker. But the modern tradeswoman pushes on like a dandelion growing through a sidewalk crack. One might wonder why we don't just throw up our hands and give up? The answer is simple:
We're Here To Work.

2018 Exhibitor Ribbon Winners


1st Place:
2nd Place:
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
3rd Place:
King County Wastewater Treatment


1st Place:
Seattle Department of Transportation
2nd Place:
Seattle Public Utilities
3rd Place:
Seattle City Light

People's Choice Award:  Ironworkers 86

Cindy Payne,
May 7, 2018, 3:24 PM
Cindy Payne,
Mar 12, 2019, 5:43 PM