Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 donates $5,000 to Missouri Women in Trades

IBEW LOCAL 1’S STACEY BONUSO speaks to tradeswomen at the January MoWIT support group meeting. – MoWIT photo

Contribution will enable the group to expand mission of helping women enter, succeed in building trades


Missouri Women in Trades (MoWIT) received an early Christmas gift this year in the way of a $5,000 donation – the largest, single contribution in the non-profit organization’s history.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 made the donation. Local 36, like many other St. Louis building trade unions, has experienced an increase in the number of women entering the trades and is active in the recruitment of women, minorities and youth.

“We felt like it was a worthy cause, and that it was the right thing to do,” said Local 36 President/Business Manager Ray Reasons, noting that the gift will be a yearly donation pending the review and approval union’s executive board.   


MoWIT President Beth Barton, a Carpenters Local 1596 journeywoman, announced the good news at the group’s December support group meeting/holiday party. Barton was beaming with joy.

“This is so exciting and awesome,” Barton said of the donation. “It’s the biggest, single donation we’ve ever had, and we are so grateful.”


MoWIT was founded in 2006 and became a 501(c)3 non-profit agency in 2008. The organization is dedicated to expanding opportunities for women to enter and succeed in apprenticeship and careers in the construction and building trades in the greater St. Louis area.

MOWIT works with employers, unions, educational organizations and other entities and allies to increase women’s equal employment opportunity and equitable working conditions. It is committed to building a diverse workforce, strong Labor Movement, safe and healthy worksites and women’s empowerment and economic security.


Last year was a banner year for the group, which consists of six volunteer board members. In addition to the organization’s monthly support group meetings held the second Wednesday of the month from 4 to 7 p.m., MoWIT:

• Established a physical location with an office at the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society headquarters at 2929 S. Jefferson Ave. in south St. Louis City.

• Hosted three free construction “Survival Skills” workshops to prepare women considering a career in the building trades with the skills they need to hit the ground running.

• Offered a mentoring program to graduates of the Building Union Diversity (BUD) program to ensure the graduates’ continued success.

• Provided scholarships to help send local tradeswomen to the 2018 Women Build Nations Conference in Seattle.

• Marched in the St. Louis Pride Parade.

• Co-sponsored a woodworking workshop for girls with the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council’s Joint Apprenticeship Program.


For more information on MoWIT or to donate, visit, call 636-926-6948 or email You can also text “JOIN MOWIT” to 43786 to get news, information and meeting reminders.

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