Learn how this carpenter went from working all week to traveling all over.
As someone who loves to travel, Joan Bennett has seen a lot of the Caribbean. Turks & Caicos. Aruba. St. Martin. Jamaica. She’s also seen her share of careers that didn’t go as planned. Out of high school, she got into medical photography, but found the equipment was too expensive for what little she was earning. She then began working at a restaurant, but with the low pay, she had to work more hours than usual, including weekends and holidays. “I had no time to hang out with my friends or do anything for myself,” recalls Joan, “It was terrible.”
One day, she learned about an apprenticeship in construction which immediately appealed to her. “The paid training was a big draw” said Joan. “Plus I could make enough money to have a normal schedule.”
Since beginning her apprenticeship in 1997, Joan has had two raises every year. She’s also been able to borrow against her annuity to buy a condo in Roxbury and her second home in Dorchester. She has more time and money to go out with friends and enjoy her two favorite hobbies: cooking and traveling. In addition to her Caribbean cruises, she visits New York City frequently, and has even been selected to attend training events in Las Vegas.
Joan is especially proud about her work building her surrounding community. She’s also passionate about helping other women get out of dead-end jobs and into construction. “If I go into a store and see a woman having a bad day, I’ll tell her about construction,” says Joan. Joan is an active volunteer at Tradeswomen Tuesday events, where she speaks to other women about the opportunities available in the trades. “Women need to do this to better themselves. And we need to tell them they can do it!” Clearly, she doesn’t want anyone to miss this boat.