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How Memesha Davis Making $100K A Year As An Iron worker In NYC | A job that she says has changed her life ( Positive , Inspirational ,Economically ways of women Empowerment )

How Memesha Davis  Making $100K A Year As An Iron worker In NYC | A job that she says has changed her life ( Positive , Inspirational ,Economically ways of women Empowerment )


Memesha Davis is looking forward to making $100,000 this year as a Local 40 ironwork journeyman in New York City. Before becoming a union worker, Davis worked in retail, customer service and hospitality, among other jobs. She was bringing in about $13,000 a year and relied on Medicaid and food stamps to survive. Most recently, her team helped build the city's newest skyscraper, One Vanderbilt.

How Memesha Davis  Making $100K A Year As An Iron worker In NYC | A job that she says has changed her life ( Positive , Inspirational ,Economically ways of women Empowerment )
Iamge of Memesha Davis 


Memesha Davis is a Brooklyn native, a mother of two and a structural iron worker — a job that she says has changed her life. 


Prior to ironwork, I had every job that you could possibly think of: customer service, retail, hostess. And nothing ever fulfilled what it is that I wanted to do, so I’ve always tried to fill the void of not working in a trade or work with my hands,” she says. “I was not happy with that work and I was making absolutely nothing.”


In 2015, Davis was a hostess at the Barclays Center’s 40/40 Club and was also working at her aunt’s restaurant. She says her hours were limited and inconsistent, and without benefits, she relied on Medicaid and food stamps to support her family. 


“The year that I was working at the Barclays Center and with my aunt, I made maybe $13,000 for the year,” she says. “At the time, my son was 6, my daughter was 7. Raising kids on that budget was painful because there will be times where they just want something that costs a dollar, but a dollar was like a stretch.” 


She continues, “It was just like a look of just disappointment on their faces, and being a single mom and trying to provide for your children as best as you can, it takes a toll on you daily.”


This year, Davis expects to make over $100,000 as a union iron worker journeyman.  


A graduate of William E. Grady Career and Technical Education High School, Davis says she has wanted to work in a trade field since she was a teen, but felt pressured to take her high school’s culinary arts program.


“As a 14-year-old, a teenager, a young girl, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to make it in that field, so I ended up switching from HVAC into culinary arts cooking,” she says. “And that wasn’t my passion.”


Years later, Davis was introduced to ironwork through Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) — a New York-based organization that prepares, trains and places women in careers in skilled construction, utility and maintenance trades. 


She chose to enroll in NEW’s free 7-week training program in 2015, noting that they also provided her with a generous, but ultimately essential, free metro card that allowed her to get to and from classes. “At first, I thought it was a bribe,” she says with a laugh. 


NEW was definitely a life-changer. It gave me back my confidence and like I went from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I know I can,’” recalls Davis. “They saw a potential in me and they guided me into being more than just a hostess.”


After completing NEW’s program, Davis took a tour of the New York Ironworker Union’s training facility in Astoria, Queens. She was immediately hooked. 


“I remember coming to the school and taking a tour and I was like, ‘Oh, my God! This is this for me,’ because I’m an adrenaline junkie,” she says, describing the large warehouse-like 12,000-square-foot workshop that apprentice iron workers are trained in. “You see this big column, you see a replica of what a building will look like in the field, you have these torch booths, you have the welding booths.


On top of that, “the apprenticeship program for ironwork didn’t cost anything.” 


The union’s apprenticeship program lasts three years and involves two to three days per week of classes and on-the-job training. Apprentices earn upwards of $38 per hour, are walked through necessary credentials and receive health benefits. 


Those benefits proved to be crucial for Davis who was diagnosed with stage 1 cervical cancer in 2016. She says that the union president and the apprenticeship program supported her and gave her flexibility while she underwent chemo


“I remember just breaking down and crying at that moment and my general foreman, my shop steward, my foreman, all these guys were like, ‘Whatever you need, we’re here for you,’” she says. “This is like a family that I never thought I would have.” 


Her Story (Inspiring and Positive Learning from her side )


There would be times where they just want something that costs a dollar,

but a dollar was like a stretch.

Going from $15 an hour, eight hours a week to actually having some type of

consistency definitely changed everything for me.

My name is Memesha Davis.

I'm a structural ironworker with Local 40, and I'm looking forward to

making over $100k this year.

I grew up in New York in Brooklyn, was born and raised in the projects.

My grandparents raised me.

I was making absolutely nothing.

No, I believe it was $15 an hour, but it wasn't a guaranteed 40 hours at

the Barclays Center. So I know prior to starting ironwork, I made maybe

$13,000 for the year.

Raising kids on that budget was, it was painful because there would be

times where they just want something that costs a dollar, but a dollar was

like a stretch.

It was just like a look of just disappointment on their faces.

And, you know, being a single mom and trying to provide for your children

as best as you can, it takes a toll on you daily.

NEW was definitely a life-changer.

It definitely gave me back my confidence.

And since then, I went from "I can't" to "I know I can." And I was just

like, "A free MetroCard AND a free training program?

Count me in!" Even a trade course is

expensive. So to get this type of knowledge for free, I was just amazed.

I remember coming to the school and taking a tour and I was like, oh, my

goodness, is this for me?

Because I'm an adrenaline junkie.

And when you walk into the crane shed, you know, you see this big column,

you have these torch booths, you have the welding booths, and I'm just

like, oh, my gosh, OK.

I went from running around making sure that everyone is working and now

there's an apprentice working for me and I'm just like, "Wow!" It feels

great to not, you know, "Mesha, Mesha, Mesha." Now it's like, "Hey, can

you grab that for me, please?"

You know? So that was the turning point.

I was like, wow, I'm really not an apprentice anymore.

To go from $13,000 a year to $100,000 a year, it is

a drastic change.

Just the benefits that I receive from ironwork, you know, the health

benefits. When I first started ironwork, I was probably maybe

two months in and I get a call during my lunch break and my

doctor told me that, you know, I had stage one of

cervical cancer.

I remember just breaking down and crying at that moment and my general

foreman, my shop steward, my foremen, all these guys were like, "Whatever

you need, we're here for you." This is like a family that I never thought

I would have. I finished my last treatment with

chemo in February of 2018, and I've been cancer-free since.

Now, I have a pension to look forward to when I do retire.

They have a scholarship fund for my kids.

Being able, not to say yes to everything, because I don't want you to think

I spoil my kids, but not saying no all the time

definitely takes so much pressure off my shoulders.

That's the fight that we're in right now, so people hear $100K and they

think, "Oh my gosh, you can really live off of that." We live in New York

City. It's comfortable.

But, you know, the demand that we do have on the job, no one would want to

do that. I don't care how much money you put on that.

If you're scared of heights, you won't do it.

If you're afraid of missing limbs and fingers or falling, you won't do it.

I'm not saying I'm not afraid of falling.

I am, because that's definitely a precaution that you have to have on any

job that you do. That is a hazardous condition.

$100K sounds like a lot, like, "Oh, wow, you really don't do anything."

We do a lot for that money.

This is the World Trade Center and a lot of these guys I worked with today.

Like, he's a walking boss, he's a walking boss, they're connectors in

this picture. Connectors, they put these pieces together, so they're the

ones that put the Legos together. A normal day on the job is first me

trying to convince myself to get out of bed, especially when it's cold

outside. I get to work around like 6:00, 6:30.

So walking up the stairs, that's probably the most tiring part of my day.

7:30 we start work.

Today, for instance, it was windy today.

We have to bring a torch upstairs.

We have to cut pieces out so that the plumbers and the steamfitters, they

can put their pipes through certain holes that still have our pieces of

steel through it. There's me and another journeyman.

So one of us is burning, one of us has the fire watch.

As a fire watch, you're standing there making sure nothing catches fire

around you and fire watching in the cold is horrible.

You try to find anything to keep warm.

Some like jumping jacks doing push ups off the wall.

It's just everything to try to stay warm.

The men definitely show respect.

Even if they don't, you do have the other guys that will put them in check

real quick. We wrap up around 3:00 and we leave around 3:30, 3:40.

There were times where I walk up, I'm like, I can't do that.

And then it's just like, you can do anything you put your mind to.

I'm like, you know what?

You're right. I remember working at One Vanderbilt and looking across

the way and seeing the Chrysler Building and I'm like, "Wow, I'm making

history, but I'm also looking at history." And, you know, there's a lot of

guys that I work with, they're grandfathered in, you know, like their

grandfather's been doing it.

And I'm like, you're amazing.

Like, "You were just made for this."

But I'm the first one in my family to ever do anything in this field as far

as any trade.

So, you know, I feel like I'm making history of my own and my kids, I'm

all supportive of them, following in my footsteps.

But I do want them to make their own choice as to what it is that they

want to do.


Conclusion

I hope you learn and inspired from her life journey .Really She is Brave and inspiring Davis who was diagnosed with stage 1 cervical cancer in 2016 ,but she continued with positive mindset and earn 100k dollar a year .This is real example of women empowerment .

Thanks!!


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