Adrianette’s Story: Gaining Self-Worth and Economic Self-Sufficiency
Job Training Propelled Adrianette’s Path to Prosperity
Training for a career in construction at 57-years-old changed Adrianette’s life. Although she owned her residential and commercial cleaning business “Klean It Up Services,” the pay was unpredictable. Sacrificing her mortgage for up to 90 days was not uncommon. She loved her work, but her financial future seemed uncertain and retirement unrealistic.
Constructing her future with CHIC
With construction in Denver showing no signs of slowing and employers facing a shortage of workers, Adrianette saw an opportunity to expand her business through post-construction cleanup. Post-construction cleanup helps clean and remove any debris, dust, mud, and adhesives left over after a construction project. But to bid on projects, one needs an OSHA 10 certification.
Ultimately, this need led her to Collaborative Healing within Communities (CHIC). CHIC is a nonprofit organization offering workforce development programs and placement supports for women who face high barriers to employment. Through a partnership with Colorado Homebuilding Academy and funding from WFCO, CHIC provides job training for women to enter and/or become entrepreneurs in construction. It also provides resume building, guidance on bidding, and overall encouragement.
“Year to date, CHIC has been able to help over 80 women into the workforce — 25 of them into construction,” said Hilari Smith, CHIC associate director and cofounder. “CHIC is ecstatic to partner with Colorado Homebuilding Academy to ensure that more women enroll in construction training, construction apprenticeships, and construction programs.”
Building self-worth and economic self-sufficiency
CHIC is one of 23 organizations that make up WFCO’s WAGES grantee cohort. WAGES (Women Achieving Greater Economic Security) brings together direct-service and public policy organizations to learn from and with each other to advance women’s economic self-sufficiency. In its first year, WAGES impacted 428 women (and another 900 of their family members). 25 percent of the participants achieved education goals and 24 percent made employment gains. Adrianette is one of these women.
“Before I came to CHIC, I didn’t feel self-worth, I felt like I was stuck,” she said. “Now that I’m doing post-construction clean up, my income can triple, and I have a little room to breathe. I didn’t think I would ever have a retirement.”
While entering a field dominated by men originally intimidated Adrianette, she persisted. “I just looked at what they did and said I can do it better,” she said. And she’s not done yet. “I’m going to keep going and get my OSHA 30.”