In celebration of the 25th annual Women in Construction Week (March 5-11), the Carpenter Contractor Trust is shining the spotlight on three female construction workers in union trades. The women followed different paths to construction and are helping to pave the way for the future of women in the construction industry in the Eastern Atlantic States region.
PHILADELPHIA, March 6, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — In celebration of the 25th annual Women in Construction Week (March 5-11), the Carpenter Contractor Trust (CCT), is shining the spotlight on three women construction workers. In line with this year’s national theme of ‘many paths, one mission,’ the women are sharing the different career tracks that led them to careers in construction.
Gina Yiantselis – From College to Construction
Gina Yiantselis, 32, graduated from college in New Jersey with a degree in psychology but was unable to find work in her desired field. She took a position in marketing and relocated to Philadelphia; but that job turned out to not be a fit. She then took a job as a waitress.
“I was doing everything I should do to get to where I thought I should go, but nothing was working,” Gina said. “So, I thought I should try something else that I actually wanted to do.”
Gina stumbled on an article online about the Sisters in the Brotherhood, a community of women union workers that provides support, networking, and mentorship. She then contacted the woman mentioned in the article and learned that a training course was starting in two days. That introductory course, a pre-apprentice program that teaches the soft skills of carpentry to prospective carpenters is called the Carpenters’ Apprentice Ready Program (CARP). Gina was sponsored by a construction company while she completed CARP and then continued with a 3-year apprenticeship program.
Gina graduates this March, and will continue on as a project manager at the company she’s been with since 2019, which is one of the highest-paying union positions. She suggests other women who might be scared of making a career transition into the construction industry, embrace the change.
Jenna Padeletti – From the Beauty Counter to the Tradeshow
Jenna Padeletti, 29, was working in the beauty department at a pharmacy in Baltimore and dissatisfied with her take home pay, when her construction worker fiancé suggested she consider a job in construction too.
“Now I work on a lot of tradeshows. I do drape and carpet, sometimes I build booths,” Jenna said, explaining that her new job was much more interesting and much better paid.
Jenna who has three children also finds construction work to be more flexible. Her jobs are project-based, so if she can foresee that childcare will be challenging or there are various appointments coming up for her kids, she can occasionally skip booking a job to tend to things and call the Mix 20/20 union dispatch line to renew her status as eligible for work after.
Jamie Poole – From Incubators to Convention Centers
Jamie Poole, 37, was working at a warehouse that built incubators for newborn babies in Baltimore, when she was laid off. While she had a college degree, she couldn’t fathom working a typical 9 to 5 job.
“I’m a hands-on person. I like being active. I don’t like sitting at a computer,” Jamie said. When someone she knew suggested she sign up for CARP, she thought she’d look into it; that was 5-years ago. Now Jamie has worked behind-the-scenes at tradeshows and convention centers. She says the work is fun and rewarding. “I like creating things and it’s something I can see myself doing in the long term.”
All three women followed different paths to land full-time work with benefits in the construction industry. They’re part of the 10.9-percent of women who work in the field, according to the latest figures available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A fact the women agree should be celebrated, then built upon.
“If you want to do it and you’re afraid, do it anyway,” said Gina Yiantselis, of pursuing a career in construction. “There are a lot of intimidating factors of working in a largely male dominated industry and what that might be like on the job, but I have worked with some of the best people and had the best experiences.”
About The Carpenter Contractor Trusthttp://www.cctmarketing.orgThe Carpenter Contractor Trust is a labor-management trust formed to bond the relationship between the trained talents of union carpenters and their qualified signatory contractors to gain market share within the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters area. We serve as a liaison to amplify the voices of our partners to bring attention to matters that affect them most. Learn more at