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Apr

12

2018

How Meaghan Benoit Went From Barely Minimum Wage, To A Stable Career In Construction

“For the past year and a half, I’ve been kicked down, thinking ‘Am I going to be stuck in retail for the rest of my life because I’m female? Did I go to school for nothing? Will I ever be able to provide for my children?’ … THRIVE has given me hope.”

                -Meaghan Benoit

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Meaghan Benoit felt defeated.

She held a low-paying retail job, but she couldn’t find a way to break through the ceiling. She thought education toward a process solutions degree might help, but her lack of experience kept her from breaking into the oil-field industry.

“I busted myself,” she said. “I was barely sleeping, I was always studying. I got to graduation. I knew that it would take time. I figured if they were putting so much money into these school systems, there had to be a job for me.”

There wasn’t. A combination of a lack of experience and a downturn in the economy meant she couldn’t get her boot in the door. So Meaghan had to sit down with her family and come up with a plan.

“I had nine years with the same company, but I was still barely above minimum wage. I had a degree that wasn’t leading anywhere.”

She tried entry-level manual labor next, but Meaghan struggled to find a hiring manager that believed, in her words, that she could perform as well as a man. It was rejection notices and no thank yous for 18 miserable months.

“Am I going to be stuck in retail for the rest of my life because I’m female? Did I go to school for nothing?” she thought to herself. “Will I ever be able to provide for my children? If my car breaks down, will I ever have the money in my account to fix it? When I get ready to retire, am I going to have to work until the day that I die because I wasn’t able to put back anything to live on?”

Then one day she saw an email about the THRIVE program. She was understandably skeptical.

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“It’s probably another dead end, but let me go,” she said.

But what gave her a glimmer of hope was that it was specifically set for women. So she called – 15 times each day, in fact – and when she saw the opportunity in front of her, she knew this was her chance.

“It’s given me hope. I can grow and I have an opportunity where, when I can run after it, I can get there. They will instill in me what I need to be successful. I have the opportunity to build a career.”

 

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Categories: Women in Construction