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University of Iowa Pre-Vocational Training Program records

Identifier: IWA1341

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Scope and Contents

The University of Iowa Pre-Vocational Training Program records date from 1989 to 1999 and measure 3.5 linear feet in 8 boxes. The records are arranged in four series: Administration, Press & Publicity, Resources, and Artifacts & Photographs.

The Administration series consists of organizational records including correspondence, curriculums, and participant demographic information. The series contains two subseries: Funding and Physical Plant Committee. The Funding subseries is composed of grant proposals written by program staff to help support the activities and educational opportunities of the Pre-Vocational Training Program. The Physical Plant Committee subseries is made up of meeting minutes from the Physical Plant Affirmative Action Committee that aimed to address training issues and organizational concerns that occurred while working with the Physical Plant Shop managers. The committee sought to survey and assess the progress that had been made at public institutions regarding attracting, hiring, and retaining women and people of color in the skilled trade jobs at the institution’s physical plant.

The Press & Publicity series is composed of bumper stickers, brochures, flyers, posters, newsletters, and newspapers from or about the program. They depict the program’s success in training women in the skilled trades and promoted the program to wider audiences. The Resources series is made up of a variety of published materials that provide insightful information on the gender gap in the skilled trades and opportunities for the creation of training programs for women in the trades. The resources come from numerous sources and supplement the mission and purpose of the University of Iowa Pre-Vocational Training Program for women.

The Artifacts & Photographs series consists of three hard hats, a scroll of job titles held by program graduates, and photographs and slides of participants, staff, and program events. One of the hard hats is inscribed by program participants.


  • Creation: 1989 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

The University of Iowa Pre-Vocational Training Program began in 1989 to help prepare women to enter the skilled trades. The program aimed to benefit eastern Iowa by providing interested and trained female candidates for apprenticeships and other entry level positions in the trades, including construction, auto mechanics, and plumbing. The program was initiated in response to the striking lack of gender diversity and opportunities for women to participate in skilled trade education and employment.

The Pre-Vocational Training Program targeted low-income women in Johnson, Linn, and surrounding counties in Iowa. The program consisted of a three-month training session that was free to participants, with efforts to also provide financial support for childcare, transportation, and other barriers to participation. The program staff assisted graduated participants in seeking apprenticeships and other entry level positions or enrolling in further industrial and technical programs.

The Pre-Vocational Training Program’s first sessions ran in 1989 and 1990. During the years that followed, the program held three sessions per year. Each session consisted of instruction on physical condition and wellness, life and career skills, basic math and measurement, and the trades. Instruction provided an overview of the different shops that participants could apprentice in, including overviews on terminology, tools, safety, and materials. Participants got hands-on education while visiting shops on the University of Iowa campus, shadowing journey workers, and performing supervised shop tasks.

The University of Iowa Pre-Vocational Training Program was funded through a variety of grants and donors. The program provided opportunities for low-income women to earn a living in traditionally male-dominated trades. The program was discontinued in 1999.


3.5 Linear Feet (Artifacts in Box 8; Four videocassettes [V# - V#]; Slides in Slides Box 17.)

Language of Materials



University of Iowa program that trained and prepared low-income women to enter the skilled trades, primarily in building and construction.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1581) were donated by Nancy Noyer in 2017.

University of Iowa Pre-Vocational Training Program records
Emma Barton-Norris
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)