Building Trades on a Roll: Female Academy Class Visits the Carpenters

The Mentorship Academy’s female class held its first career site visit this past week, and our hosts, Local 432 of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, did not disappoint! Students’ heads were spinning after hearing about and seeing what the carpenters trade has to offer.

Carpenters lead presenters Alex and Rich walked the class through all the varied careers that membership in the Carpenters would offer: commercial carpentry, residential carpentry, heavy highway, pile driving, floor laying, cabinet making, and more. After questions, our class split into groups to tour the impressive and state-of-the-art carpenter training center off the Parkway West. The facility buzzed with activity all morning as the next generation of our region’s carpenters were refining their skills at different stations.

Guest speaker Jillian gave a powerful, personal talk to the class; explaining how she decided to join the Carpenters, what it’s like to be a woman in the craft, and how her profession allowed her to live her life as she desired. She shared a great video titled “Sisters in the Brotherhood” that everyone should watch (check it out here).

The class discussed the difference between a job and a career/profession, and how the latter sets the individual up for great wages, differentiated skills that are mobile and in demand, and a sense of pride in performing their skill daily.

We also reviewed how to evaluate different career options when it comes to wages, health care, pensions, 401ks, and profit sharing. Lots of new, technical terms were thrown out there and minds were swimming. However, over the course of the next few months these terms will become second nature to the students, and that knowledge will provide them a leg-up to stand out from the crowd when opportunity knocks.

Another great day for the Mentorship Academy. Now that we wrapped our first site visits for each class, we are going to make a few improvements and make the next visits even better (one of the most important: mandating pizza for lunch for all site visits from here on out!). Stay tuned for a report from our next experience. Till then…best.

The Mentorship Academy is an initiative of CNX Foundation and part of CNX’s commitment to investing in its local community. Designed for high school students who do not plan to immediately attend a four-year college, the Academy is focused on providing urban and rural youth from economically disadvantaged regional Appalachian communities with greater opportunities—helping provide these young adults a bridge to family-sustaining careers. Following the mentorship program, students will have developed new relationships with peers and business leaders across western Pennsylvania, a new excitement for the region’s career opportunities and an understanding of how to pursue those careers.

Building Trades on a Roll: Female Academy Class Visits the Carpenters