About Us

What is WISE Career Pathways?

Women In Sustainable Employment (WISE) Pathways is a career exploration program designed for women to learn about in-demand careers such as those in Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Logistics, Information Technology (IT), and Construction. These are high wage occupations that can provide stability for women and their families.  

The program covers the realities of the featured careers, what to expect and how to be competitive in a hiring process, and where to get needed education and training. 

The COVID 19 pandemic has negatively affected women who lost retail, hospitality, and other jobs in the economic downturn. These challenging times provide an opportunity for women to learn about in-demand, high wage careers that can provide stability for themselves and their families.

Program participants can engage in career exploration with women who have work experience in these industries, which will help them find interesting options for themselves.

Please note that Ohio wage data has been cited across this website; however, the industry highlights and skills information are nationally relevant. We are looking forward to providing information about other states and regions in the future. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at info@hhwohio.org.

WISE Pathways combines two proven techniques to engage women and raise awareness of in-demand careers in their community that provide a family-sustaining wage:

  • Career Exploration and Coaching with engaged industry and education partners
  • Trained Role Model Speakers with significant experience working in the featured industry sectors

Read more and download full description of WISE Career Pathways.

Program History

Through its leadership of Ohio TechNet*, launched in 2014 with a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) TAACCCT grant, Lorain County Community College (LCCC) worked with SkillsCommons and subject matter experts from targeted industries to create or enhance many “Grab and Go” resources for utilization in launching a WISE Pathways pilot. To support engagement of women in the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Consortium, supported by a USDOL Scaling Apprenticeship grant, LCCC and partners from the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association are assisting regions in the launch of WISE Pathways pilot programs. The enhanced WISE Pathways resources are free to use and customizable for any region; examples include a county court system partnering with education, workforce, and industry to offer WISE Pathways as a diversion program for women who are first time, non-violent offenders; an Appalachian community offering WISE Pathways to those completing drug rehab; an urban neighborhood hosting WISE Pathways in a community training center which has a computer lab and childcare options; and a small rural college opting to offer WISE as two week-long summer camps, one for young women after their junior year in high school and one session for un/underemployed women ages 18 – 50+.

HHW Ohio (Formerly Hard Hatted Women)

Formerly Hard Hatted Women

Originally developed by HHW Ohio, the program has been through frequent iterations and improvements through partnerships with public and private organizations including AmeriCorps, the Center for Energy Workforce Development and others, and with investments from the US Department of Labor and other public and private supporters.

Beginning in 2016, HHW Ohio partnered with Lorain County Community College and SkillsCommons to make WISE Pathways a free, open education resource available nationally.

WISE Pathways is designed to be hosted by many types of organizations and relies on a partnership model where host organizations coordinate content as well as needed supports for participants. Community-based organizations, workforce/economic development agencies, educators, and industry partners collaborate to deliver this program.

After completing the WISE workshop, these organizations may offer additional services, which will help program completers along their pathway, such as entering needed education and training, preparing for entry-level jobs or apprenticeship programs.

HHW Ohio remains a valued partner, sharing its expertise to engage and prepare Role Model Speakers, as well as building a library of Role Model Speakers videos and an online Role Model Speaker training.

About Ohio TechNet

*Ohio TechNet is a consortium of education and training institutions developing innovative new education and training strategies. By promoting efficiency and creativity through collaboration, Ohio TechNet has sparked the development of dozens of new or enhanced programs that have trained thousands.

Thank You

We’d like to extend a big shout out and thank you to the following people and organizations for their contributions to and support of the WISE Pathways program: