An Important Announcement from Connie at Oregon Tradeswomen


I wanted you to be among the first to know I am planning on retiring as the Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (OTI) in Spring of 2017 and scaling my involvement to allow for more work life balance.

Since 1989, I have dedicated my life to building and running an organization that has had an immense impact on the lives of thousands of women, girls, and their families. The work of OTI has also had a distinct influence on Oregon’s construction industry and other trades. I’ve come to the time in my life when I want more leisure for gardening, hiking, and spending more time with my spouse and other family and friends.

This transition has been well planned over the last 5 years with the help of the board of directors, consultants, staff, and a rigorous strategic planning process. It’s the right time for OTI because…

— I will still be involved with national policy through serving as co-chair of the Taskforce on Tradeswomen Issues and conducting training, providing technical assistance and other consulting services to help employers, apprenticeship programs, unions, and government agencies diversify their workforces, and assisting CTE trades program to attract and retain more women and girls.

— I plan to stay involved with OTI as a mentor, advisor, connector, and anything else the organization might want from me – just not the day-to-day oversight of the organizations operations. I, along with the rest of the OTI team, have accomplished a lot over the last 20 years:

  •  More than 1,000 women have graduated from our Pathways to Success pre-apprenticeship program
  • We will host our 25th Annual Women in Trades Career Fair in 2017
  • OTI has vastly increased visibility of the trades as a viable career for women. Oregon’s percentage of women in registered apprenticeship is 6.8% – more than double the national average, and the apprenticeship programs we work with most closely have over 9% women.
  • Approximately 33% of all of Oregon’s female apprentices are graduates of OTI’s pre-apprenticeship program.


OTI is in the process of expanding the training and consulting services we will offer to employers, apprenticeship programs and CTE trades programs. Our services will assist employers in not only recruiting women, but also in helping those employers retain women workers and encourage them to advance in their careers.

OTI has a solid team of experienced and skilled staff, and our Board of Directors are strongly committed and represent a diverse group of tradeswomen as well as business and non-profit professionals. I have every confidence that they will continue their great work and keep OTI growing strong as a resource for our community.

I will be staying on full time until the new Executive Director is hired and will continue to work closely with OTI’s partners and collaborators.  After the new Executive Director is hired, I will reduce my hours to part time until the new Executive Director is fully situated.

I want to thank you and all of our supporters, past and present. This work is far from over and I encourage all of you to stand strong with Oregon Tradeswomen into the future as we help prepare a strong workforce who just happen to be women. I hope we can count on you for your continued support and partnership, and your help in getting the new Executive Director situated.

In gratitude for all your past support and partnership,


p.s. Stephanie Basalyga, Editor of the Daily Journal of Commerce, published a story about my planned retirement. Read the story online!

Here is a link to the ED job description and application instructions.

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