Cynthia Mills, a Washington-resident and 35-year member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America, is helping to break the misconception that careers in carpentry can only filled by men.
“I’m an all-around Union Carpenter,” said Mills. “The Sisters in the Brotherhood program teaches you so much that you only have to switch your tools and you can do any job. I learned what I wanted to learn and I received my skillset through years of experience and mentorship.”
In the early 1980s, Mills worked as a key punch operator at IBM. During her time there, she attended an information session at Job Corp and learned about a career in carpentry. During the session, she learned about the different types of hands-on experience and certifications that she was able to receive. Shortly after the session, Mills sat with her father and discussed her career path.
“I knew that I wanted to work with my hands,” said Mills. “In junior high school, I built items in woodshop class and that started my interest in working within this field.”
Throughout Mills’ career, she worked closely with concrete framework and drywall, while learning all different aspects of the trade.
The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC) Sisters in the Brotherhood (SIB) Pre-Apprentice Program is an eight-week training course that prepares women to become carpenter apprentices. The 40-hour per week course trains women carpenters in a variety of in-class curriculum and hands-on training in mathematics, occupational safety and hazards, hand/power tool training and job-site culture. After successful completion of the program, women carpenters graduate to the NRCC Apprenticeship program.
To learn more about the Sisters in the Brotherhood Pre-Apprentice Program in Baltimore on January 8th, please visit: http://www.northeastcarpenters.org/baltimore_pre_apprentice_program