The 40th Annual 
Women in Trades Fair is a wrap!
Thanks to all who made this event such a roaring success.  We proved that we're not only "Here to Work", but "We're Here to Party", too.

Fair Schedule 
 •    9am - Fair Opens 
 •    9:30am - Tradeswoman Demos Begin
 •    9:45am - Mayor Durkan Proclamation 
 •    1pm - Birthday Cake!
 •    1:30pm - Tradeswoman Demos End
 •    1:45pm - Exhibitor Awards Announcement
 •    2:00pm - Fair Closes
 •    2:05pm - Exhibitor Load Out

Tradeswomen Demo Schedule
Brand new this year-- 4 construction crafts will be showing off their best stuff outdoors under the semi big top!
•    9:30am - 10:15am:   NW Laborers  
•    10:30am - 11:15am: Seattle Pipe Trades
•    11:30am - 12:15pm:  Western Washington Sheet Metal
•    12:30pm - 1:30pm:   Cement Masons/Plasterers

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

In honor of our 40th Birthday,
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan proclaimed Friday, May 10 as
Women in Trades Day! 

Special Thanks to everyone
at Seattle Center

2019 Exhibitor Ribbon Winners


1st Place: 
Western Washington Sheet Metal
2nd Place: 
Seattle Area Pipe Fitters
3rd Place: 
The Boeing Company


1st Place: 
Vigor Industrial
2nd Place: 
Seattle Public Utilities
3rd Place: 
Seattle Parks & Recreation

Special Award:  
Che Arsenault, the woman who inspired the  2019 Poster Concept

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.

Cindy Payne,
May 7, 2019, 11:08 AM
Cindy Payne,
Mar 12, 2019, 5:43 PM