From Baker to Electrician
Althea Burgett knew she enjoyed working with her hands and being creative, but had no idea these characteristics would lead her to a trade school. She tried college, but eventually worked as a baker for 10 years, running her own shop.
A single mom hitting her earnings ceiling and needing to earn the income of two parents, Althea didn’t know what to do next. With a 7-year-old and 4-month-old at home, there was no way she could afford to go back to school for two or four years.
Althea recalled her dad’s advice from long ago: consider vocational training. Eager to begin a new career using her hands and earning a higher wage, she enrolled in a six-month electricity program at JEVS’ career training school, Orleans Technical College. She knew little more than how to screw in a lightbulb. Working alongside a class full of men, the 29-year-old completed the program with a 4.0.
Upon graduating, Althea had two lucrative job offers and accepted a position with NJ Transit. She is proof that women can succeed in the trades, and balance work and home life. Most of all, Althea is striving to be a positive role model to her first grader and pamper her newborn, with less worry on her shoulders now about how to keep her family afloat.
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