Many college graduates don't receive the type of pay and benefits that a union construction worker does. I know, because I am one.
In 2005, I graduated college with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and a concentration in Early Childhood Education, and received my teaching license after passing my test on the first try. I tried for nine years to obtain a job in a public school system. I worked in head start programs, parochial schools, private schools, and early education centers while also waitressing, bartending, and managing a restaurant part time, just to pay the bills. I did all this while raising my now, sixteen year old daughter.
I contemplated going back to college to obtain a master's degree in mathematics, but deep in debt with student loans, it wasn't going to work for me. While considering options, I thought, “Carpenter's use math. Maybe I should apply to the carpenter's union.” With some help and advice from some friends, I decided this is what I would do. I went to the orientation, received an application, and waited three, seemingly, long months for an interview.
I interviewed to be a floor coverer because I was told that there weren't many women who did flooring and if I chose this path I would be put to work right away.
In May 2015, I began my apprenticeship and my career as a floor coverer with Pavilion Floors.