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Student Story

Meet Inci: Resilience, Clarity, and Resolve

Inci was ready for a career change. For years she had worked tirelessly in a job with limited advancement opportunities and was barely making ends meet.

“Doing what I was doing, I wasn’t making enough money,” Inci explained. “You are working so hard. You are staying at this job for years. Living is expensive out here. I am a single mom with a daughter, so she is the reason.”

Inci started exploring alternate career paths that would allow her to provide a better life for her daughter. Several of Inci’s family members are in the construction trade and the industry piqued her interest. Inci enrolled in the Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training (PACT) program – an 11-week course in partnership with Seattle Colleges and Seattle Goodwill that prepares individuals for a career in the building and construction industry.

Inci began the PACT program in the spring of 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic brought life to a screeching halt. The program continued with a hybrid model and Inci learned through Zoom meetings and in-person at Seattle Central College for hands-on instruction. Inci immediately gravitated toward cement masonry.

“Goodwill is there because they care, and they want to see us be successful.”

Inci developed many critical construction skills and attained several certifications in the program. She especially enjoyed a final project building tiny homes for unhoused Seattle residents. While the college facilitated Inci’s skill development, Seattle Goodwill provided important case management and support services. Support services often include help with meeting critical basic needs like housing, utilities, transportation, and food.

“When I started the program, everything was shut down so it was really nice to have that support from the staff,” Inci said. “Goodwill is there because they care, and they want to see us be successful.” Inci graduated from the PACT program in September of 2020 and is excited about her new career in construction. She hopes to join a cement mason union soon and log enough hours to become a journeyman.

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