Women in Advanced Manufacturing

Empowering Women of Color through Pre-Apprenticeship in Alabama

Women in Advanced Manufacturing (WAM) offers a FREE 6-month, part-time pre-apprenticeship training program for women of color in Birmingham, Alabama. WAM will prepare students for careers in the manufacturing sector. Courses will be taught at Lawson State Community College at their Bessemer campus. Supportive and wraparound services will be provided by the program as well as career counseling and mentorship. Classes begin on March 7, 2024.

WAM is committed to and geared towards women of color in Birmingham. WAM recruits women of color, priarily Black women who are low-income, justice-involved, veterans or who have caregiving responsibilities.

WAM will also provide technical assistance on apprenticeship and employment of women in manufacturing directly to both area employers and labor unions

Facts about women in manufacturing in the United States:






Why a WAM Pre-Apprenticeship:

Quality Pre-Apprenticeship programs provide pre-screened, ready-to-work employees who have been trained in the specific skills employers need.

Benefits of our WAM pre-apprenticeship programs include:

  1. Women get hands-on learning opportunities, wraparound services and mentoring
  2. Women earn industry-recognized credentials
  3. Women may have facilitated entry opportunities into registered apprenticeships
  4. Unions and employer sponsors build a talent pipeline into registered apprenticeship
  5. Unions and employer sponsors solve workforce challenges like recruitment and turnover
  6. Employers access diverse talent pools for your hiring needs
  7. Employers save time and money by hiring qualified workers

About the WAM Pre-Apprenticeship

WAM is a FREE manufacturing career readiness program led by the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute in partnership with the City of Birmingham, Lawson State Community College, YWCA Central Alabama and the United Steelworkers (USW) District 9 and Women of Steel to create pathways for women of color in Birmingham, Alabama. 

The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute and our Birmingham partners are reaching out to women in all of the City of Birmingham's nine Council districts to promote this new all-women manufacturing certification program at Lawson State Community College. WAM will work to ensure that those who enroll and graduate from the program are placed in good paying jobs and/or registered apprenticeships.

WAM is a six-month, part-time (approximately 10 hours per week) pre-apprenticeship program with two career tracks. Students will choose one track, which will equip them for an entry-level position in manufacturing. No prior experience or credentials are necessary.

  • TRACK 1: Industrial Maintenance Technology (IMT) 

  • TRACK 2: Machine Tool Technology (MTT)

The IMT and MTT courses each convey industry-standard certifications that are highly sought-after among advanced manufacturing employers in the Birmingham area and beyond. Students in both tracks will complete OSHA 10 and other workplace safety courses with the USW District 9 and Women of Steel.

To help students succeed, WAM also offers wraparound services (such as funds for child care needs or family emergencies) and mentorship from experienced women working in manufacturing. 

Sign up for more information about participating in WAM 

Location of courses:  Lawson State Community  College Bessemer Campus  1100 Ninth Avenue SW Bessemer, AL 35022

Thank you to our Partners

Lawson State Community College

YWCA Central Alabama

Women of Steel

The City of Birmingham (AL)

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This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U. S. Department of Labor’s Women's Bureau. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U. S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.