When Althea Burgett first toured Orleans Technical College, she was inspired by the presence of instructor Linda Dunphy, the only woman instructor at the school. Learning a trade was never a possibility that occurred to Burgett until, 12 years into her career as a baker, she set out to make a change in her life.

“It was nice to see another woman here, and she told me she was the teacher of building maintenance, which was ever more awesome,” Burgett said. “She was very encouraging for me to come to the school.”

Burgett said she was expecting her electrical class to be male-dominated, but didn’t expect to be the only woman in the class. She graduated at the top of the class and is currently deciding between two job offers.

“[Before I started] I only knew how to put in batteries or a light bulb,” she said with a laugh.

Burgett is one of 11 female students to graduate from the school’s carpentry, building maintenance and electrical classes, the highest number of female graduates in one term the school has ever seen. For women like Burgett, learning a trade may not even seem like an option, but Burgett made the most of her six months at the school.

> To read the full story on Athea’s career path change from Baker to Electrician visit the Northeast Times.

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