A few years ago Marlo Butler, 31, was unsure what her future would hold. She had dropped out of Vineland High School in the ninth grade, but managed to earn her GED from Cumberland County job placement services. Still, while she had her high school equivalency diploma, she didn't have a job.
"I went to get city welfare, where you sit in classes all day to help you find a job," recalls Marlo. "When I was in class I read a flyer about the bricklaying apprentice program. I thought, ‘That sounds pretty great.'"
Marlo, a resident of Bridgeton, had always been interested in construction. She put in an application with the Local 5 union and a few weeks later, in February 2004, she started her apprenticeship training to become a bricklayer. Marlo spent 12 weeks in a classroom training program in Bordentown and then worked for several weeks on the job as a mason apprentice. In September 2004, she started classes in blueprint reading.
Marlo is excited for the great benefits her union membership affords her. She says she plans to build a career in the trades after she completes her apprenticeship. "We used to do small construction projects in school. I found them really interesting." She says she is looking forward to learning these valuable skills.