We Have Liftoff: SBTC Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship Class Graduates
By: Kaylee Martin
On November 17, we were thrilled to celebrate the eight hardworking women that have comprised our most recent Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship class in their graduation from the program!
For twelve weeks, these women have gained both classroom and hands-on experience that will give them a jumping-off point for their future careers in the Construction industry. Through their hard work, each participant can now confidently transition into either full-time employment or continue with additional training to further sharpen their skills via plumbing apprenticeships.
From The Starting Line
Throughout this program, all graduates learned important skills that have prepared them to step out and create exciting opportunities for themselves in the skilled trades. Broken up into “soft” and “hard” skills, each facet of this course was designed to properly prepare our graduates with all the entry-level information they would need to learn the plumbing trade, as well as provide them with a background in professional communication.
These professional communication skills include customer service, emotional intelligence, conflict management, and knowledge of different communication styles. Each of these are highly valued no matter the position, but can prove to be exceptionally useful as a woman in the trades. The ability to articulate to customers, solve problems between coworkers and superiors alike, and understand how an individual’s thoughts and feelings might impact their actions can be a factor that brings our graduates ahead of other potential candidates in the coming job search.
Other skills learned include all the construction and plumbing basics that these women will need to take the next step in their careers. From construction math to tape measures, hand tools to advanced power tools, and all the entry-level plumbing knowledge and terminology they will need such as types of water, pipe fittings, and basic service skills and diagnostic ability, our graduates received a plethora of information that will aid them in becoming true masters in their field.
During the course, participants were also trained in First Aid and CPR and received certification in both, as well as their OSHA 10 certification – each of which being additional qualifications that will push our graduates forward in the Construction industry.
Although these basic skills and knowledge of the plumbing field are necessary, we recognized from the inception of the Pre-Apprenticeship that this alone may not be enough to change the career tract that our students are on. By providing an array of other benefits, SBTC created an environment where mothers and other busy, working women could develop new skills while the pressure of childcare, technology, and even weeknight meals were off of their plate.
For starters, each class, which consisted of Tuesday nights, Thursday nights, and Saturday mornings, had the option of free childcare for children ages 3 – 12 years old – thus allowing working mothers to attend stress-free. Alongside this, weeknight meals were provided to students to keep their minds energized and stomachs full while devoting themselves to their studies.
Other benefits included a $120 weekly stipends for those who met attendance, punctuality, and safety criteria and a free Google Chromebook upon completion of the course.
The Path Ahead
We at SBTC could not be more proud of our graduates and all they have accomplished throughout these twelve weeks of training. With every new skill learned, barrier destroyed, and connection made, we are overjoyed at the opportunity to teach each and every woman that attends our classes and help them find their footing in the skilled trades.
Now that their efforts are complete regarding our Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship, each graduate will be set up with multiple potential employers to apply and interview for jobs.
Once again, congratulations to all of our graduates!
What’s Next for SBTC?
If you find yourself interested in a similar program, SBTC is excited to say that we will be hosting a non-trade-specific “Women in the Trades Pre-Apprenticeship” set to launch at the end of January 2023! This program will include a “tour of the trades” alongside First Aid/CPR certification, OSHA 10 certification, many of the benefits provided in our Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship, and an abundance of skills to be learned that can apply to any trade. Click here to learn more!
United We Spark!
About the Author: Currently a Project Administrator at Hoopaugh Grading Company in Charlotte, NC, Kaylee has enjoyed learning about and sharing experiences from the skilled trades since her childhood. Accompanying her father to construction job sites as a young girl, she saw first-hand how those working in the trades shared values of hard work and camaraderie – knowing then that this was the field she wanted to be in. Since then, Kaylee has found a way to marry her love of the skilled trades with her love of writing by working together with She Built This City to help spread our message and share our stories!