Oklahoma City (AP) A Tulsa woman says she was able to secure $600 for training to be a female electrician in a state that requires women to wear an EMT mask when doing so.
Alyssa McCracken, 30, received the grant from the Oklahoma Legislature in December to help pay for her training.
The money is part of a $500,000 grant for female electricians in the state.
She said she has had her EMT training twice and was able find the money in January, but it was difficult to get through to a male instructor because of the state’s stringent rules.
McCracken said she was initially concerned about whether the training would help her in her future job and she wanted to make sure that it would.
She said she is hoping that she can get the funding from other donors to continue her training, which she hopes will be a catalyst for women to be able to work in the field.
The State Emergency Management Agency oversees the state, so McCrackens job will be overseen by the state fire marshal.
She says she expects that to be an easy transition because the agency is a part of the Oklahoma Public Service Commission, which oversees state agencies, and she has received no complaints from her female co-workers.
She says she had a couple of training sessions with male instructors, but said it was not until after the second session that she started to notice differences in their work.
She is looking for another female instructor, but McCrackensen says she will have to wait for that.
McCackens training, she said, has been difficult.
She had to take off the mask and show the instructor the way to do the work and it was really difficult to follow the instructions, she says.
She also says that she did not want to have to wear the mask while doing her job.
McCockens job is not new.
In 2012, she worked in the electrician’s union as an apprentice.
She later moved to a private firm and was later hired by an insurance company to work as a professional electrician.
She left the insurance firm and worked as a private contractor for the Tulsa Police Department.
She is hoping for a positive outcome from the training grant and hopes that her skills will be useful to other women.