BWiC Featuring Claudia Gomez, Union Carpenter

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Claudia, like many of the other women interviewed, said they were struggling in minimum wage jobs and were searching for an alternative but never considered the trades because they simply weren't exposed to the option or didn't know how to get involved. 


Claudia enjoyed working hands on while growing up, she watched family members build things weather it was installing cabinets, fixing door frames, fixing cars and even painting along with many other things, and was always willing to help out. She said "I was happy working hands on, to see the outcome was satisfying". She went on to studying Criminal Justice at Bunker Hill Community college for two years but was not happy. She immediately recognized it was not something she would see through. One day a friend told her about a info session at for the New England Carpenters Union, she was all in to know more about it. She attended the info session at the Boston training center and felt as though she had found exactly where she needed to be. She learned about the 4year apprenticeship program and what is expected to become a Journey woman/man. Her first day on the job was at the Match Community Day Charter Public School in Hyde park. She was the only female Carpenter apprentice on the site during the time she was there. She depended on asking a lot of questions while being respectful, helpful while knowing that the first impression sets the tone for day to come. 


Entertaining into her 3rd year as an apprentice she is currently working with Manganaro Northeast, LLC on the Dearborn STEM Academy project formerly a middle school that is now expanding to become a science, technology, engineering, and math focused school for grades six-twelve preparing students for early college enrollment. Gilbane has joined forces with Roxbury-owned partner Janey Construction Management.  As part of project, Gilbane and Janey are focused on aligning with the City of Boston’s Boston Residence Jobs Policy (BRJP). The project is a collaboration between the COB Property and Construction Management Department, Jonathan Levi Architects, Daedalus and Gilbane.  Funding for the project will come from the City of Boston and the Massachusetts School Building Authority.


As we all know the market is bustling in the Commonwealth, so lengthy “lay-offs” right now are rare. Even so she is careful with her finances and mindful to save as much as she can for that rainy day. 
Looking back, she said she wished there was more information available on the opportunities available in the construction industry. Many days she would pass by construction sites in the city but never really understood how it all happened. Now she walks by a site that she worked on and says “I helped to build that!”


As far as challenges are concerned she says she is “I'm focused on keeping a positive attitude because there's always something new learn, what may work for one person may not work for the other so it's best to learn how it all works well for you with tips and tricks that others teach you ”


The excellent example that Claudia is setting could be the new reason more women come to work in the trades. Let’s all work together to see those percentage numbers rise!


Thank you, Claudia, for sharing your experiences and supporting our mission of Building Women in Construction!
 

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