Jasmine Jones was working in maintenance at the University of North Carolina when the coronavirus pandemic began. Then the virus hit, the school closed, and Jones was unemployed.
She found work as a plumbing associate at a Lowe’s in Cary, but wanted to get her hands dirty.
“I just want to do manual labor instead of being behind a desk taking phone calls,” said Jones, 30.
This week, she launched her new career as a plumber, landing a job at Carrboro Plumbing.
Getting her from plumbing associate to plumber was Hope Renovations, a new skilled trades training program in Orange County specifically for women. It launched in July and graduated its first class this month.
High-wage skilled trade jobs have long been occupied mostly by men. Hope Renovations says that more women can do them and trains them for it.
In addition to its 10-week pre-apprenticeship training program