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“I had lost everything in my life. My job, my family, my possessions, my home, my freedom, and worst of all, I’d lost myself,” said Local 290 member Michelle Thomas.
Michelle is a mother and a wife, and now a Sister in the Brotherhood. She says it was the gift of desperation that led her to change her life around for the better, and it was her journey through sobriety that led her to pursuing a new career as a union carpenter.
After being invited to and attending an orientation explaining the carpentry apprenticeship program and the Sisters in the Brotherhood on Long Island, Michelle knew this was her calling.
“The Sisters in the Brotherhood pre-apprentice program gave me the opportunity to change my life, for the better,” Michelle said. She successfully completed the six-week program in 2018 at the Long Island Training Center and is now a fully qualified journey-level carpenter in UBC Carpenters Local 290.
“Being an apprentice allowed me to develop the skills and knowledge needed to further my career as well as the opportunity to change my life. I go home proud after a day of work. I love that there are no limitations and I’ve the ability to advance in the Carpenters union.”
Michelle has been working for 3TC doing concrete on the railroad expansion job for over a year now, and says she loves being able to create something with her hands and her mind.
“Michelle is an incredible role model, not just for the Sisters in the Brotherhood, but for the entire membership,” said Local 290 Council Representative Nicole Grodner.