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.