WOW & WOW 2.0 Impact: Megan Coleman
Megan participated in WOW and WOW 2.0 from 2017-2019
by Khadijah Torbert
January 11, 2022
West AlabamaWorks! was a monumental part of my career. I want to thank them for having an event like WOW (Worlds of Work) and allowing me to be apart of it. I was able to learn about different career options at a crucial age when everyone asks "what's next?Now, I am a third year apprentice in the TJAC Local 372 Union working at McAbee Construction. This would not have been possible without having experienced WOW and WOW 2.0 and learning about opportunities right in town. I'm forever Grateful.
Megan says one of the reasons she wanted to get her career started in the construction industry was to challenge herself as a women in a male dominated field and the fact that she enjoyed working with her hands. After learning about McAbee Construction and meeting with hiring managers during WOW 2.0, Megan found the perfect solution to making sure she was career ready after high school. She's been enrolled in their apprenticeship program now for three years. Megan said, "it just seemed like the better choice when it came down to it."
Three years later and she says her experience at McAbee Construction has been challenging, yet rewarding. "Being a female in this trade in general can be frustrating, but they (male coworkers) treat me with the respect and dignity they would give anyone else, but they seem to love to test my limits," said Megan. "As a determined and head strong woman, I like to show them (male coworkers) that we (women) can come to work and excel just like the rest of the guys," said Megan.
She said there are days where she wonders if she should have chosen another career path, but is reminded that being apart of the TJAC Local 372 Union Apprenticeship with McAbee has prepared her not only in the workforce sector, but also in her communication and leadership skills. She in no way wanted to be in the spotlight but says she enjoys being seen as a leader and being an example for others looking to get into construction, especially for women. "The knowledge, hands-on experience, and family culture has been worth it," said Megan. "Not just helping to build things but also changing other people's mind set about women in construction."
After completion of the apprenticeship in year five she's looking forward to no longer being called an apprentice, but journeyman.
* apprentice is a trainee, especially in a skilled trade while journeyman is a tradesman who has served an apprenticeship and is employed by a master tradesman.