14 Interestingly, she loves it. “School just ended for this past semester. We had math on Tuesdays and rigging on Wednesdays,” she said. “We will start back up in September with welding, so I’m really excited about that. I can apply what I learn in the classroom to the field. at’s the difference, I think.” Melissa also stated she is really enjoying the plumbing aspect of her job. “I caught on quick, and I like to think I will be a jack-of-all-trades, so to speak. I like being the person who has the answer to multiple questions. I hope I can get some welding certifications. Right now, it’s hard to come in on a Saturday and practice because Saturdays are the only day I have to spend time with my family. ey did say in class that if we have some really good pieces, they’ll send them off to be tested for a certification.” Melissa said her husband has been very support- ive of her newly found career. She feels comfortable working in a male-dominated industry. “At first, some of the guys felt they needed to act a certain way around me,” she said, “but now, everyone jokes with me as if I am one of the guys, and that is what I want. I don’t get singled out. Everyone is great.” When she thinks about her future, Melissa stated that she would like to weld more. “It’s really been good so far,” she stated. “Everyone I’ve talked to says they are going to be working for me some day. At first, I laughed, but now I think about those possi- bilities and opportunities. I would love to become a superintendent or the top safety person on a job someday. I can only go up from here. We could end up owning our own contracting company. I’ve talked to my husband about that. I’ve said, ‘Can you imagine?’” Yes, Melissa, we can. CAREERops Adam Messenger Adam Messenger is on the job in Cheyenne, WY, working for U.S. Engi- neering at the Capital Square Project. He is a fourth-year apprentice with Local Union 192 in Cheyenne. He graduated from the VIP Welding program at Fort Carson, which is held at Local Union 58 in Colorado Springs. He had been in the Army for 10 years. At the Capital Square Project, Adam is working with his partner, Chase Mitler, and they have been working on all of the mechanical piping. “I made a great decision,” he said. “I love my job. I would tell other veterans that if they were interested in keeping the things that they had—insurance, a steady paycheck, and a decent pay—that this is a great transition. There appear to be a lot of veterans in the trades. I’ve been working steadily since I’ve gotten out. I’m a pipefitter/welder, but I’m pursuing my plumbing license too. We’re a combination local [Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 192, Cheyenne, WY], so we have that option. I haven’t had to travel very far. I’ve been able to come home every night since I’ve been employed.” (continued om page 13)