Tyeka grew up in the foster care system, shuffling between homes and group care in MA and NY. She aged out of the foster care system at seventeen and in her words, she was in and out of trouble and dead-end jobs for a couple of years after that. She is a single mom. She became an apprentice carpenter six years ago, and credits the Carpenters Union for turning her…
24-year journey-level Carpenter, union Steward, union executive board member
Dave is Puerto Rican but born and raised in Springfield. He grew up in a rough neighborhood and unlike a lot of his friends who ended up in gangs and in trouble, he was fortunate to connect with a teacher who got him involved with the Carpenters Union.
16-year journey-level Carpenter, union steward
Lily lives in the hill towns region of Western Mass in Plainfield. She is a journey level carpenter and has been in the union for over sixteen years. Lily went to Franklin Tech for carpentry, choosing the field because she liked working with her hands and was nervous about the electrical shop.
2nd year apprentice Carpenter
Stephanie grew up in the Springfield area, joined the army at seventeen and served for three years, including two combat deployments to the Middle East. Returning home to Western Mass, she went to community college to become a mechanic, but was unable to find steady work, resulting in a period of homelessness.