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Non-traditional Careers and Special Populations

OSSE uses federal Perkins Grant funds to support programs, services, and activities preparing students for employment in high skills, high wage careers that are nontraditional for members of their gender (i.e., that reflect a gender imbalance of 75/25 or greater in the labor market). The US Department of Labor (DOL) defines non-traditional careers/occupations as jobs in which one gender makes up less than 25 percent of the total number of workers in that occupation/career. Although the vast majority of jobs are unrelated to gender, women workers are concentrated in just a few occupations due to socialization, tradition, and discrimination.

To learn about labor market information for the District of Columbia and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division please visit the District of Columbia, Department of Employment Services.

OSSE also uses Perkins funds to ensure that individuals who are members of special populations are provided with full and equal access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, services, and activities, and are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the high skills, high wage, or high demand careers of the competitive 21st century global labor market.

By regulation, members of special populations include:

  • individuals from economically disadvantaged families, (including foster children)
  • individuals preparing for nontraditional training and employment
  • individuals with disabilities
  • single parents and single pregnant women
  • displaced homemakers
  • English language learners

Other District populations with special needs include:

  • adults in need of training or retraining;
  • youth at risk of dropping out of school or becoming unemployed upon graduation, (including homeless students)
  • school dropouts; and,
  • individuals in correctional institutions

For additional information, please contact Richard Kincaid at [email protected] or (202)442-4008.