Melissa E. enjoys being called one of the boys. Moving through the HVAC room at JEVS’ Orleans Technical College, it’s clear Melissa (who told her classmates to call her “Uncle Melissa”) knows her way around the many heavy, intimidating-looking machines. She’s the only woman in the class.
She had worked in the cooking industry for 25 years, where she cleaned off heavy machinery regularly. When machines broke down, she noticed the same guy would come in and perform repetitive repairs. “I cleaned so much of the equipment, I said, it’s time to learn to fix it,” she said. That’s what gave her the “lightbulb” to come to Orleans.
>>Read the Northeast Times story here about our women students in construction: Melissa, Linnette and Akese, all putting fear aside and breaking down barriers of the male-dominated construction industry to build careers in the trades.