Shamema and Kacey
Patience and Perseverance = Career Success
A former Marine, Shamema struggled when she returned to civilian life. It took her a little while before she considered pursuing a career as an electrician.
"Unfortunately, transitioning back into the civilian life was far harder than I expected. It took me 8 years and about 18 jobs before I finally realized that physical labor was just too ingrained in me to ignore. I started considering a career in construction."
Shamema found the career she loves by Googling Seattle electrician jobs. Her search linked her to a local union page, where she filled out an online form for more information. Her phone rang just a few minutes later. It was an organization called ANEW, Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women.
Shamema graduated from the apprenticeship program in 2012, and in the fall of 2020, she started her own business, OP Electric. Shamema met Kacey through a community forum post and eventually Kacey became her first employee.
"She seeks to understand why we do things rather than just how. She will become an excellent electrician regardless of her teacher, but I am so thankful that she ended up with me."
From her time in the military, Shamema recognizes the importance of a partner you enjoy spending time with and can count on when needed.
"I have been in this industry for nearly ten years now, and I have met some incredible friends and mentors. Kasey and I laugh riotously together. We have mountains of inside jokes. It’s funny to consider how that friendship has developed inside the walls of this van. There is just something special about that."