Alumni Profile - Lucille Vinnett

At 56, Lucille Vinnett was working a part-time, minimum wage security detail at the New Orleans Convention Center prior to entering the New Orleans ECPAP.  Additionally she had no benefits like health care or a retirement plan.  Ms. Vinnett wanted a career with opportunities for advancement but never considered construction as a viable option.  That is until she met a bunch of ‘Jerry’s Kid’s’ doing trade-show construction at the Convention Center.  At the Convention Center, the ECPAP students are affectionately referred to as ‘Jerry’s Kid’s’ with the Jerry being ECPAP Coordinator, Jerry Repka.

While working security for an incoming trade show, Lucille noticed the Carpenters Union had several women doing exhibit construction. She spoke to several of the members who referred her to the Union’s apprenticeship program.   Ms. Vinnett decided she would visit to Carpenters Training Center and explore her options.  

During candidate assessments, Lucille revealed her desire to be able to learn the building blocks of construction.  She also demonstrated the strength and stamina to perform the physical functions of the job.  She decided that the Environmental and Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program (New Orleans ECPAP) was the opportunity that would help her achieve her career goals.

After completion of the 12-week pre-apprenticeship, Lucille joined the Carpenters & Pile Drivers Local 1846 on March 17, 2011.  Since then she has primarily worked with trade shows and has acquired enough work and school hours to move up the career ladder to third year apprentice making $18 per hour plus $7.85 per hour in benefits.   Additional she has health insurance and a pension plan she will be vested in this year (2016).

Lucille is a model apprentice and was selected to attend the United Brotherhood of Carpenters 3rd Year Program at the Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas December 4-7, 2014.  This means Lucille received an all-expenses paid trip and received additional skills training.  She is looking to complete her apprenticeship in 2016 and expanding her experience in construction.

Alumni Profile - James Allmon

James Allmon is a 2011-12 graduate of the New Orleans ECPAP. After graduation, James joined the Carpenters Union and Carpenters Apprenticeship Program as a 3rd Year Apprentice. He went to work initially with Freeman Decorating making $15.78 per hour.


When James heard Turner Industries needed qualified scaffolding erectors, he took the initiative to enroll in additional scaffold training through the apprenticeship program.

James received his scaffold certification and obtained a TWIC card. He was hired by Turner Industries as a scaffold erector at the journeyman rate of $25.86 an hour, plus $7.45 an hour in benefits. His supervisor was pleased with his performance and work ethic.

Through his initiative and help from ECPAP, James no longer worries about long-term unemployment and looks forward to a rewarding career in construction. Just recently James passed the NANTeL exams and went to work at the Waterford III Nuclear Plant in Taft, LA.

Alumni Profile - Myron Thibodeaux

Myron Thibodeaux is a 2013-2014 graduate of the New Orleans ECPAP. He is a 23 year old African American male with a high school diploma. At program entry, Myron was underemployed working as a waiter at Red Lobster. Myron had no previous construction or environmental experience and needed the trade related math review.

Upon graduation Myron joined the carpenter’s apprenticeship program and went to work for Freeman Decorating making $14.27 hourly. Myron received his scaffolding erector qualification through the ECPAP and obtained a TWIC card.

Myron used his scaffolding erector qualification and TWIC card to go to work at Cornerstone chemical plant in Waggaman, LA at an hourly wage of $18.83 per hour as a 3rd Year Apprentice. What really makes this a success story is a testament to Myron’s character and vision.

Living with his parents over the last five years, Myron was able to save enough money to put a down payment on a house. In February 2014, Myron went to the act of sale on a small starter home in Jefferson Parish. Myron plans to use his expanding construction knowledge to renovate his new home.

Alumni Profile - Emmanuel Mitchell

Emmanuel Mitchell is a 1998 graduate of the New Orleans ECPAP. Emmanuel has reached a multitude of success benchmarks since graduating the program. He entered the ECPAP as a 19 year old, unemployed African American male with a high school diploma.


Since Emmanuel had taken some carpentry training through the Louisiana Technical College system he was able to start as a 2nd Year Apprentice when he joined the apprenticeship program.

Emmanuel was the first ECPAP graduate in the first year the program worked with the Carpenters Union to reach journeyman status. Now in his 30’s, Emmanuel is still a Carpenters Union.

Over the years, Emmanuel purchases a truck, got married, purchased a home, built an addition to his house for his wife’s beauty shop, and had 3 children. He recently purchased a second home and is renting out his first home. In his career, Emmanuel moved up the ladder to supervisory positions, started his own side business doing residential construction/renovation, and even taught carpentry for the Louisiana Technical College.

Emmanuel is a long-time member of the ECPAP Advisory Board. Emmanuel’s latest milestone was being elected a Trustee of the Central South Carpenters Regional Council.

Alumni Profile - Crystal Fassitt

Crystal Fassitt is a 2013-14 graduate of the New Orleans ECPAP program. Prior to enrolling in the ECPAP program Crystal had been laid-off from a job as a night auditor at a hotel. After completing training she joined Carpenters Local 1846 as a 1st Year Apprentice. Her first job was with Freeman Decorating earning $14.27 per hour and $7.85 in fringe benefits.

She got her TWIC card and also passed NANTeL (Nuclear Academy for Nuclear Training Electronic Learning) exams which enabled her to begin working at the Waterford III Nuclear Plant in Taft, LA in April 2014.

In September 2014 Crystal traveled to Homestead, FL to work at Turkey Point, which is a nuclear facility operated by Florida Power and Light, where she earned $25.00 per hour. After that outage was complete, she then went to Peach Bottom Nuclear Facility in Peach Bottom Township, PA.

Now a second year apprentice, Crystal is making a name for herself on the scaffolding circuit. She is currently working at a nuclear power plant in Texas.

Pre-Apprentice Scaffold Training

Our pre-apprenticeship is more than just weeks of safety, regulations, math, and life skills. Our pre-apprentices get hands-on, practical training that is designed to assess their mechanical inclination while letting them test out the trades before committing to apprenticeship.

Check out the video below to see them in action, and stay tuned for more video updates in the near future!