GREENWOOD — RTV6's Hiring Hoosiers is our initiative focused on connecting you to jobs and training programs.
We have shared in recent months the desperate need to find people in skilled trades. But there's also a push to find more women to join the ranks.
"I am more or less starting (from) the ground up on this," Lacey Cherry-Johnson told RTV6 during her carpentry class.
Cherry-Johnson is most-often in her element when she's working with her hands — learning how to put up an acoustic ceiling. It's all part of her training in Greenwood.
Cherry-Johnson is an artist and was looking for something with a steady income that would allow her to continue making her art and paying the bills.
So she signed up to become a carpenter with the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters. Their facility is in Greenwood.
"The work ethic of being an artist, doing work, and being a motivated, hard-working person — I think that is essential," Cherry-Johnson said. "If I didn't like to do things with my hands, then this would not be the career for me."
Cherry-Johnson, at the time, was the only woman in the room working on skills for a job with a starting salary of $63,000 with benefits and a promise of a college education.
"With the union, everyone gets paid the same," Cherry-Johnson said. "The work is the same, and you feel you are on par with the men, but the male-female thing will only change if women who are interested in hands-on work. Join — and then it will not be such an imbalance."
Cherry-Johnson is doing her part by balancing career and family, with her head up and her eyes on the prize.
The Indiana Regional Council of Carpenters is looking for more people to connect with a job while you train and get a college education.