Let's hope for 2022!
It's been a tough couple of years, but we're gonna do our best to make the Northwest's best loved Trades Fair happen in the Spring of 2022.
We look forward to seeing you.
To all of our colleagues, friends and family, we care about you.
Get vaccinated and wear your masks!
Stay healthy and STAY MIGHTY!
Special Thanks to these businesses, unions, training programs or agencies who DONATED their 2020 Exhibitor fees to Washington Women in Trades. We are extremely grateful to you!
Special thanks to everyone at Seattle Center!
For the last 41 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, Vigor Industrial., Hammer & Hand, 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 100 exhibitors in 2019.
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.
In 2019 we added a new activity which became a runaway success, the outdoor Tradeswomen Demos.
In a centrally placed tent, training programs present hour-long showcases of their work.
2019 Showcase contributors included Local 242 Laborers, Seattle Area Pipe Trades Apprenticeship, Western Washington Sheet Metal, and Local 528 Cement Masons/Plasters.
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,innovative and interactive 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.
And everyone else who'd like to learn about living wage careers in the Pacific Northwest.
This is a FREE Event! There is NO admission fee for attendees
Questions? Contact us here
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
Che Arsenault, the woman who inspired the 2019 Poster Concept
Some Fair History
41 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 2021 and forty some 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.