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A Spotlight on Megan in our Construction Training Program

The Habitat for Humanity Construction Training Program, or CTP, is a workforce development initiative designed to train and prepare individuals for careers in the construction industry. "I enjoy working with the students and watching them grow as they become more engaged with the construction trades on their path to full time employment," says Holly, the Skills Training Manager at Habitat Cincinnati for the CTP.

This program is a collaboration of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati and CityLink. The CTP is a critical component of our work to build stronger communities and provide affordable housing solutions to families in need. 

In the last cohort, there was one standout student, and she just so happened to be the only woman in the program. Megan, a 28 year-old originally from Salt Lake City, recently graduated the program and will soon start full-time employment with Jostin Construction. She's looking forward to moving to the next level of construction. As for her time with Habitat, Megan called the CTP a "beautiful, amazing program" and shared her experience with us.

"I walked into the program, didn't know anything. Now that I've graduated with the program, I have learned so much more than I knew before… The program is challenging, but challenging in a good way," said Megan. But outside of construction skills, she said patience was one of the top things she learned in the program. "I have learned to be patient with things instead of rushing things."

Being the only female in the cohort of 11 presented itself to be difficult at times, but Megan realized this actually made her stand out in a good way. "I was looking up to them, but the whole time they were looking up to me," she said. "We became a family. We all would stick together. It doesn’t matter if one [person] failed, we were all there to lift each other up."

Megan credits some of her success in the program and growth as a leader to having strong female construction instructors to look up to.  "With me having Felicia and Holly, I didn't feel too left out. There was actually three of us and with them being on my team, it actually made me step up to be more of leader," said Megan. Her classmates told her what a great leader she was. They watched her step up to help others learn things that they didn't understand. The support she had from her instructors and classmates made her believe in herself and realize her potential. "I believe that I am a great leader," she said.

"I have learned, by me being the only woman in this class, that I am very strong-minded, very helpful, very smart, intelligent, and actually I'm good at teaching. And I didn't even know."

She encourages other women to sign up for the program, knowing that they will grow in both construction and leadership skills. "Women that come into the program, you will be a better leader than what I am right now." With each cohort and each woman that signs up, female leadership in construction will continue to rise.

During her time in the program, Megan also got to work on building an actual home with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati. "Walking through the doors with nothing, that was scary! How we gonna build this?" Megan questioned. But her instructors were supportive and reminded her to slow down. She said that they stressed the main key is to take your time. Be patient. Don't rush anything. "Being on this project I learned to take my time," she said. So not only did she gain hands-on construction skills, but she also learned how to work efficiently on an actual build site. "The best part of me being on the Habitat [site] physically is me getting dirty. 

Megan hopes that throughout her career she can continue to pour love into the things she builds. "Coming into [the Habitat build site] with nothing has made me realize that my hands have built something so peaceful, loving, joyful for the next family to come to," she said. "That's something that I like doing with the hands that God has given me. I have carpenter hands that God has blessed me to build peace, love, joy, abundance everywhere, and it gives me joy."

Before Megan starts at Jostin Construction, she decided to extend her time at Habitat an additional six weeks, which is an option all CTP students have while they continue to interview for jobs. Megan has been working on finishing up a home. "I don't like starting a project and not finishing it," she said. To her, it's rewarding knowing that a family will move in and realize that she worked on their home.

Megan highly recommends signing up for the CTP. "I recommend a lot of people, if you're interested in construction, to come on to the program. It's very helpful," she said. "They don't give up on you, they won't let you give up and that's the main thing about the program. They're here to bring you up and to push you to the bigger and better level that you would've never seen coming."

When it comes to the next step in her career, Megan is nervous, but she knows that she can handle it. "Am I scared? Am I afraid? Yes! But out of peace, joy, and love, these people [from the CTP] have pushed me so far to where I believe I can make it this far," she said. "But now that I'm actually taking the next step from residential to commercial that's a challenge--that is a good challenge. I am happy, I am blessed, I won't complain. I know I am able to travel the joy, peace, and love that God has given me in my heart to transport to the next level in life that he has prepared for me."


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