Nicole was working 2 jobs to make ends meet for her family. “No one wants to leave work to turn around and go back to work,” Nicole stated. She heard about the apprenticeship readiness program Building Strong Communities, a program that introduces people to the building and construction trades and prepares them for the industry. For Nicole, it sounded like a good way to get a foot in the door in the construction trades.
After finishing her apprenticeship readiness program, Nicole was placed with Lunda Construction as an International Union of Operating Engineers 49 apprentice and is training to be a crane operator. “It’s the most fun thing I’ve done as an apprentice, it’s a rush. At first it’s intimidating, but then as you get more experience – you realize, I can do this!”
Nicole’s two daughters are proud of her, and she says being able to provide for them and not being stressed about bills is the best feeling in the world. “I am earning while I am learning, which has enabled me to buy a truck and to feel more secure about taking care of my family.” Apprentices earn a family sustaining wage while they learn their trade.
“My daughters like the fact that I’m doing what I love, and that I drive a big truck and I work with cranes. As a retired 49er, my Dad is proud that I’m following in his footsteps and he’s proud that I have a career.”