Growing up in West Oak Lane, Monique Wright remembers the constant annoyance of a leaking roof in her childhood home. It was a full-circle moment when, decades later, she was searching for jobs online and found a workforce development program offering diverse Philadelphia residents a new pathway to join a local roofers union.

Prior to finding Rebuild’s workforce program, Monique had what she describes as “a variety of career experience.” Her past roles included field operations for a security system installer, customer service and sales, and construction labor.  After most recently working an office job, she was eager to focus her talents on a hands-on career again. This time around, Monique was committed to finding a lifelong career, and not just another job.

“I’m excited to lead the way for the younger members of my family and community,” said Monique. “I know this is only the beginning of what I can achieve. Many Philadelphians live their whole lives in this city, and never see all of the opportunities available to them. I’ve always dreamed big.  I hope all Philadelphians look at me and see that anything is possible.”

Just three weeks into the Rebuild workforce development program, Monique  qualified as a roofing apprentice with Local 30 and has been working with a commercial union contractor ever since. 

When asked what advice she would give to future participants in Rebuild’s workforce development programs, she encouraged  them to keep an open mind. “This training program not only taught me new things about the trades, but also about myself. Come in fully prepared to get the most out of this amazing new opportunity.”

Now that Monique and her fellow trainees have completed the first phase of the paid training program, they are one step closer to launching careers in their chosen trade of roofing, painting, or cement masonry.

Rebuild is creating a diverse pipeline of skilled tradespeople to work on projects to improve neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries in Philadelphia. Rebuild’s workforce development programs give Philadelphia residents, especially women and people of color, a new pathway into membership in  construction unions.