LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The sounds of construction can be more than a little annoying at times, but for the women involved in the Bridging Outstanding Opportunities with Tradeswomen Skills program, they’re the sounds of a new beginning.
“It’s not for everyone, but it can be for you as long as you make it work for you,” Rosamarie Ceniceros said.
Ceniceros is in charge of the BOOTS program at the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters.
“I am the BOOTS instructor, and I’m just trying to get girls prepared, ready to be a part of the union — the sisterhood and the brotherhood,” she said.
BOOTS is a four-week apprenticeship program designed to provide hands-on training for women looking to become union carpenters, a big part of which Ceniceros said was getting women prepared for working in a male dominated industry.
“I just tell them to be one of the guys, because I know if they get offended by me, I’m actually very nice,” she said. “So I want them to be prepared for some of those males that aren’t used to working around a woman.”
BOOTS is cost-free and often offers fresh start to women who have fallen on hard times, like Delmi Garcia.
“I go around the classroom, and I ask ,’What’s your story,'” Ceniceros said. “She’s like, ‘Well, I live in my truck,’ and I said, ‘What? We’re going to get you a new job.'”
“She means the world to me,” Garcia said of Ceniceros. “She’s like my godmother. She brought me to this, gave me the spark and the basics.”
Garcia said she never imagined that she would be a carpenter, but she was loving every single second of her new life.
“It makes me feel like I’ve changed somebody’s life or I’ve helped somebody’s life,” Ceniceros said.