Newsletter Stories

Women in Apprenticeship & Nontraditional Ocupations Grant

FEC Awarded, Women in Apprenticeship & Nontraditional Occupations Grant 

The Full Employment Council (FEC) has been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and Office of Apprenticeship  to facilitate “Women in Apprenticeships and Non-Traditional Occupations”(WANTO). Only four of these grants were awarded throughout the country. The grant will afford FEC the opportunity to further utilize its diverse business model to increase the number of women entering nontraditional occupations and registered apprenticeships in the Jackson, Cass, Clay, Platte and Ray Counties. 

The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grant program provides technical assistance to employers, small businesses, units of government, and labor unions to encourage the employment of women and create positive work environments. Apprenticeship is the workforce area with the smallest female representation. The WANTO grant program also encourages women to pursue nontraditional careers in growing sectors such as Information Technology and Advanced Manufacturing which have some of the highest paying occupations in the country.

FEC will convene top executive women throughout the Greater Kansas City area in the targeted industries of Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Business/Financial Services, Construction, and Warehouse/Logistics to create customized pre-apprenticeship training programs. These programs will consist of classroom training, job shadowing, on-the-job training, technical industry-specific training, and soft skills training in the targeted sectors.   

“We are extremely excited to be leading this apprenticeship model in the Kansas City Region and look forward to facilitating diversity and inclusion for women in under-represented occupations.” Shelley Penn, Senior Vice President of the Full Employment Council.    
The Full Employment Council, Inc. (FEC) is the Managing Entity/Fiscal Agent for the Kansas City & Vicinity Workforce Development Board and the Eastern Jackson County Workforce Development Board.
FEC Hosting International Fellow from the Young Leaders of the American’s Initiative
The YLAI Professional Fellowship Program will bring 250 business and social entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States to collaborate with their counterparts in businesses and civil society organizations in 24 cities across the United States. Meridian International Center is implementing this program on behalf of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Exchange Programs. The Full Employment Council is hosting one of these fellows, Michelle Samuel from St. Lucia, for a month long Fellowship. Kansas City is welcoming a total of ten International Fellows, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
FEC Fellow from St. Lucia - Meet MichelleMichelleSamuelx350.jpg
My name is Michelle N. Samuel and I am the founder of SLUDTERA. It's a faith based, non-profit employment agency and ministry, which when launched, will provide various services to customers and clients in St. Lucia. Some of these services include; work force development, education, innovation, entrepreneurship training & mentoring, assistance for persons in need, skills training and community development through a pay it forward system.

Hailing from the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Lucia, home to the world's only drive-in volcano and the majestic Pitons, I was very much unprepared for the unique flavour and atmosphere of Kansas City that spread itself before me like a canvas of cultural and intellectual beauty. Infrastructural development and technological advancements alongside very strong artistic and cultural portrayals are everywhere you turn. It has been just astounding.

I am one of two St. Lucians who were selected to participate in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative or YLAI program. After several weeks, the Meridian team who implements the program and identified the organization which would be my coordinating host for four weeks out of this program. That organization turned out to be Global Ties KC of Kansas City, Missouri and the people behind the selection process of my Fellowship placement were Courtney and Sarah. I know a lot of thought and effort was put into my placement, as well as the placement of the other Fellows on the Kansas City Fellow Team.

I must say that Global Ties KC did a phenomenal job of matching me with the Full Employment Council, Inc. At first I didn't know what to expect, but then when I met my Fellowship host Daniel Smith, I knew that I would be happy at my placement. From day one, I was greeted with broad, friendly smiles and welcoming handshakes from the staff at FEC. With each passing day, I have learned more than the day. Eventually, I no longer felt like a Fellow but like a member of the FEC family. I would also like to make special mention of other persons at FEC who have made me feel like I was more than welcome by going out of their way to ensure that I enjoyed my brief fellowship with FEC - Rowina, Patrick, Terri, Lisa, Karen, Dee Burns and Gail Greble.

Last but not least, I have learned the most from Mr. McQueen, the CEO of FEC. I learned what gave him the passion to do what he does, the history of the organization and valuable lessons about integrity, culture, fairness and genuine caring for the people and not just for self. Thank you Mr. Mc Queen for having me, thank you Daniel for hosting me and thank you FEC for helping to shape me. I have been writing articles about my journey during the YLAI program including the places I've been and the people I've met. That would definitely include my fellowship with FEC. To find out more about my journey, go to and search for my very first article; "I Would Like to Thank..." and read on. I hope that you enjoy.



The Full Employment Council, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program.
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