In March, JEVS Human Services celebrated National Women in Construction week by honoring the women graduates of JEVS’s career training school, Orleans Technical College. This spring, 11 female students are graduating from the school’s carpentry, building maintenance and electrical skills training programs, which is the most women to graduate in one term from the school.

These women had not necessarily envisioned a trade school in their futures. They had all started out in office jobs or careers with low earning potential. They wanted a change. Orleans’ students debunked the stigma in this historically male-dominated industry that it is a man’s job to take care of repairs, maintenance, and construction of homes, buildings and commercial properties.

Althea, Laura and Melissa graduated recently from Orleans Tech and are moving on to pursue their careers in various areas of construction. Although each of these ladies came across Orleans Tech while looking for a switch from their current jobs, all had been seeking an area where they could use their creative skills and move away from routine, monotonous work every day. All three had very little to no experience in the field, but Orleans changed this for them, and now they are certified in building trades work.

In the videos below, Althea, Laura and Melissa each give insight to their individual journeys into their career path.

Althea was formerly a baker, but the single mother wanted a career with more potential for earnings to support her family.

Laura enjoys carpentry because she loves “creating something out of nothing.”

Melissa found her old job tedious and boring; now she enjoys her job working with her hands.


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