How did you learn about reboot and about joining construction?
It all started basically just assembling stuff in the house, I figured that I liked to do hands on things. While I worked at Home Depot, I saw a lot of contractors come in and was basically asking them and learning and seeing that there were people who did this type of stuff and had their own businesses. I also had spoken to somebody who went to school for this, so I wound up googling and seeing that there was an apprentice program you didn’t have to pay for. Cause you know school is expensive and I already went to college, so I didn’t want to pay again. So, I figured I’d do this, and it would be better to work and get educated at the same time; I wanted to take that path and give it a try, have more of a hands-on career. I went to school for criminal justice, so it wasn’t very hands on, construction is definitely where I wanted to be.
Did you know about Reboot Construction before looking to join?
No, I actually never even knew what a sponsor was, and then reading on the school site and going on the zoom meeting they mention you have to find a sponsor to support you, someone who basically supports you throughout school. I was like how I am going to do that I’ve never even heard of a sponsor. I wound up talking to Mr. Bob Landy (Robert Landy, Director at Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Committee), who was telling me about this program and a program for women and he referred me to Reboot, and they reached out and asked if they could sponsor me as one of the first females in the program. I wouldn’t have known what to do without Reboot.
What advice would you give to other women looking to pursue careers in the trades?
The advice I would give to women is not to be scared to work with all the men. I know for me, I was a little intimidated at first but at the end of the day I don’t want to be depending on a man for things that I could do just the same, especially when I can be just as handy. Especially when I can be just as handy as they can, I feel like if you’re brave enough to do it. You’re strong enough, you have the mindset, don’t sit around, and wait for somebody else to do it. You never know what you could do that somebody else couldn’t do. We do need more women out there on the sites.
Did you know you always wanted to be a carpenter?
I worked at a temp agency before, we did some insulation, but I would watch the guys tear out cabinetry, I also worked a cleaning job and saw these guys build islands and re-do the basement and I was like that’s what I want to do. I’ve seen organizations like Habitat for Humanity who use their carpentry skills to build houses and that’s the type of stuff that I want to do.
What’s your favorite part about working for EDA?
The support that Sade, Mr. Ed, and Kodi have given me. Being a listening ear to understand and answer my questions. The support that they show for their apprenticeships and their workers.
What is your favorite EDA value?
Building trust. If you’re going to come out to a job site, its not a game, we’re working on somebody’s roof and somebody could get hurt, so I appreciate the trust they have in us to come out here and learn.