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Women Carpentry Students Sign Letters of Completion

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Women Carpentry Students Sign Letters of Completion
Daniel O`Brien

Nine adult carpentry students were celebrated on Thursday, June 17, 2021, for completing their pre-apprenticeship program with a “Signing Day” ceremony at Minuteman Technical Institute, the adult evening division of Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School.

Eight of the students are female and one identifies as non-binary; there were no male students. The students signed symbolic letters of commitment to work in the carpentry and construction trades. Currently, fewer than 11 percent of construction workers are women in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Minuteman is proud of its longstanding commitment of supporting women in trades,” said Edward A. Bouquillon, Superintendent-Director of the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District. “From middle school vacation programs through high school and post-secondary training, Minuteman fosters women to become successful in trades that have a significant demand for highly skilled workers.”

The nine carpentry students were selected from approximately 100 who applied for the program, which was free of charge and funded through the Career Technical Initiative Grant from Governor Charlie Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet.

“They were fiercely focused and determined,” said Nancy Houle, Executive Director of Minuteman Technical Institute. “They all want to provide a better future for their families. They understood the challenge and hard nature of the job, and they rose up to that challenge. We are all very proud of them.”

All of the nine students have been accepted into a pre-apprenticeship carpentry education program with the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters (NASRCC). In addition, each of the students has obtained employment with local unions or contractors as they continue their education.

Minuteman held the program in collaboration with Commonwealth Corporation and MassHire Workforce Boards and Career Centers. The carpentry instructor, Thomas Akers, is a member of NASRCC.

“Thank you all for providing this nurturing and informative environment,” said Anesa Oliviera of Holbrook, who signed her commitment letter with her young daughter by her side. “You’ve given us professional skills that will change our futures.”

About 32 percent of the adult students at Minuteman Technical Institute identified as women for the 2020-21 school year. In addition to the carpentry program facilitated through the grant, MTI provides programs in electricity, cosmetology, metal fabrication and joining, automotive technology, machine tool technology, culinary arts, and additional career trades as offered.

The carpentry students are:

  • Luiza G. Diana of Danvers
  • Anaclediene Franco Soares of Woburn
  • Graciela Cecile Galdamez of Chelsea
  • Ingrid Carolina Mancia of Revere
  • Melanie Rodrigues Miranda of Boston
  • Anesa Oliviera of Holbrook
  • Kimberly Peach of Billerica
  • Jaclyn Kate Warren of Arlington
  • Anha Wolk-Aposhian of Somerville