Abbey Aguis, an 18-year old from Sparta, NJ, has always had a passion for building things and getting her hands dirty. That’s why after searching online for a way to break into the field of Union carpentry, the Sisters in the Brotherhood program was the answer she was looking for.  

Prior to joining the Sisters in the Brotherhood program, Abbey learned about welding at a nearby Technical School training program. Deep down though, she knew her passion was to build things. Through her own selfawareness and recommendations from her teacher, her goal shifted to joining the Union as a carpenter. The Sisters in the Brotherhood program provided Abbey with the means to make this change in her life and today, she is an Apprentice working out of Local 251 – continually learning, growing and exceeding on the jobsite. 

“I did not realize how many different specializations and room for growth there was within the trades. This program gave me the opportunity to try new things, step outside of my comfort zone and placed me several weeks ahead of some of my counterparts before I even stepped foot on my first job site” said Abbey. “Without the Sisters in the Brotherhood program, I would’ve ended up paying to learn a trade that I did not enjoy and would have been unfulfilled. I am now working in a career — not just a job — where I can create every day. I am confident this career path will set me up for future success and I continue to use what I learned from the Sisters in the Brotherhood program on a daily basis.” 

Although she is still on her parents’ insurance, Abbey is excited about the great health and retirement benefits that she will receive down the line once she turns 26. She also attributes the network and connections she made through the program as another key element that will set her up for long-term success early in her carpentry career. 

“A lot of the women I went through the program with I still stay in touch with today and we’re always letting each other know about job opportunities” said Aguis. “The program provided this support system for me and to this day, opens doors for me through networking functions, volunteer opportunities and other events.” 

The Local 251 apprentice is currently working on the interior, carpeting and tiling for Exxon Mobil’s office buildings and laboratories in Annandale, NJ.  

“Abbey works tirelessly to get the job done fast and with quality work,” said Foreman for the project Mark Guidi. “Her work ethic is unparalleled and I believe she has a long, successful career as a Union tradeswoman ahead of her.”