▪️Chelsea is 26 years old and a first year Plumbing and Pipefitting apprentice in the Local 286 out of Austin.
▫️Chelsea entered the trade with zero experience. She didn’t know the names of the tools or how to use half of them. She was a good student in high school and naturally thought that meant she should head straight for college.
▪️Straight out of high school, she attended The University of Texas where she achieved a Bachelors degree in Social Work. She worked on a crisis hotline and crisis residential facility for a local health nonprofit. After a few years, Chelsea was feeling burnt out, and like she wasn’t making a difference.
▫️She fixed a few plumbing issues in her home, by watching YouTube videos. She had a great sense of pride and accomplishment after it was finished. Chelsea started to wonder about becoming a plumber in order accomplish that same satisfaction in her everyday work life. She looked into how to do it, and was connected with her local union!
▪️It was tough adjusting to a very different type of work in the beginning. But she grew stronger and figured how to be of help. Her work ethic and ability to learn helped gain her respect. Although she struggles with self doubt and imposter syndrome, she continues to prove to herself that she can do it! Whether it is fetching material, or trying to make sense of a mechanical room, she uses every opportunity as a learning experience.
▫️Chelsea says “I’ve been lucky enough to have fellow women on the jobsite, and their support and camaraderie has helped so much. It is never too late to change your path in life if you aren’t happy, and every woman and girl should be able to consider the trades as an option.”
▪️ @chelseas.dagger Thank you so much for sharing your incredible story with me! It was such an honour to share it with all of these wonderful women. I look forward to watching how you continue to handle every obstacle thrown at you with grace!
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