Center trains women for construction industry
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Experts say women make up just 3 percent of the 8 million people in the U.S. working in construction-related jobs.
Sinade Wadsworth is with Local 157, a carpenter's union.
She says, "Most women believe this is a man's job, but that's not the case."
Wadsworth saw carpentry as the way to become financially independent.
"This industry has changed my life. I'm able to own my own home, bought a place for my grandmother, bought my own car and that's priceless," Wadsworth says.
She learned her skills at the New Nontraditional Employment For Women. The nonprofit in Chelsea trains women for construction-related careers.
President Kathleen Culhane says, "The women we place are carpenters, electricians, operating engineers, sheet metal workers.... plumbers, painters."
The center trains about 400 women per year and is able to place about 300 of them in jobs.
Maria Isabel Phillips says, "Literally construction is probably one of the only jobs out there that you get paid exactly the same as a man."
Phillips graduated last year and is currently working as a tile setter apprentice with BAC Local 7.
"Sometimes the guys are a little apprehensive. They look and say oh my god there's a girl, but then I'm like 'Hey, what's up, good morning' and then everyone is nice. There's a huge stereotype that men don't want women in construction and that's not the case. We are very welcomed. These men are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers. They see you. They respect you."
The nonprofit is also working on attracting even more women into the construction industry.
Kathleen Culhane says, "We've seen the numbers increase but it's not enough."