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Althea

From Baker to Electrician

Meet Althea

Althea Burgett knew she enjoyed working with her hands and being creative, but had no idea these characteristics would lead her to a trade school. She tried college, but eventually worked as a baker for 10 years, running her own shop. A single mom hitting her earnings ceiling and needing to earn the income of two parents, Althea didn’t know what to do next. With a 7-year-old and 4-month-old at home, there was no way she could afford to go back to school for two or four years.

“When you have kids your whole life changes, and you have to focus on what’s best for everyone involved.”

Althea recalled her dad’s advice from long ago: consider vocational training. Eager to begin a new career using her hands and earning a higher wage, she enrolled in a six-month electricity program at JEVS’ career training school, Orleans Technical College. She knew little more than how to screw in a lightbulb. Working alongside a class full of men, the 29-year-old completed the program with a 4.0.

Upon graduating, Althea had two lucrative job offers and accepted a position with NJ Transit. She is proof that women can succeed in the trades, and balance work and home life. Most of all, Althea is striving to be a positive role model to her first grader and pamper her newborn, with less worry on her shoulders now about how to keep her family afloat.

Media Mentions

> Northeast Times: An Equal Trade

> Philadelphia Tribune: Philly Mother Joins Growing Number of Women in Trades

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