Despite men filling up more than 90% of the construction industry, a mother-daughter duo is working towards careers in construction.
The Pima Community College students are building a new future.
I was homeless not too long ago, said mom, Irene Rivera.
Around December, we’ll be able to graduate, hopefully together. I will graduate with my GED too, said daughter, Angelina Damiano.
The two are beating the odds while making their mark on a male-dominated industry.
The program that I’m in is building construction technologies, the PCT program, and I’m going to get my carpentry certificate, said Rivera.
With help from Pima Countys One-Stop program connecting them to resources like the YWCA, the two have dreams to start their own business.
I do want to have my own company so that I can do home repair for the low-income, and eventually get foreclosure homes and try to get, you know, the people that need assistance, said Rivera.
For example, Section 8, I know a lot of people struggle once they get their voucher, there’s no homes available. And that’s something that I want to work within the community, she added.
Hoping to inspire other teenagers and single moms, Damiano and Rivera encourage those struggling to look for resources.
It is possible. There’s a lot of help out there, you just got to look for it and be determined and willing to do what you got to do for your future, said Rivera.
To hopefully inspire them so they can see at such a young age you are able to accomplish things like this, said Damiano.
Diversifying the construction workforce, the two plan to graduate this December.
When we found out about this, that I could complete my high school and do some other thing, that was really exciting, said Damiano.
I never imagined it, said Rivera.