Meet Adrienne Bennett
Over the years, there have been many developments in plumbing technology. To ensure that modern plumbing stays safe and reliable, plumbers must have years of on-the-job training and pass tests to become qualified. Becoming a master plumber is a challenging process that takes years to achieve, and plumbing has historically been a male-dominated industry. But, over the years, women have made inroads into the business. This Black History Month, take a moment and appreciate the achievements of Black women in plumbing. Here is some information about the first Black woman to be certified as a master plumber in the United States.
How She Got Started
Adrienne Bennett always had a curious mind and a stick-to-it attitude. She would use these two traits throughout her early life and career to propel her to the position she is in today. From the very beginning, Bennett remembers enjoying working with her hands. As a child, she loved putting together models as a hobby. She also recalls being interested in and excelling at science and mathematics.
In college, she decided to use her skills to become an engineer. Studying metallurgical engineering, she hit her first obstacle during an internship. After a racially-charged incident, she decided to leave to pursue other options. Not being one to give up on her passions, Bennett looked for ways to use her talents. After a few other jobs, she was approached by a Detroit local looking to award grants to women interested in the trades. In 1976, an annual salary of $50,000 and paid training was too enticing for Bennett to turn down, so she started an apprenticeship with a Detroit plumbers union.
Journeyman Plumber to Master Plumber
Dealing with bullying from her male coworkers was a daily problem, but she persisted, passing all of her exams to become a journeyman plumber. From there, she diversified her career in plumbing by holding positions like plumbing inspector, project manager, and code enforcement officer for the City of Detroit.
After the required 4,000 hours of experience to qualify for the master plumber exam, she was ready to sit for the exam, which she passed in 1987. This made her the first black female master plumber in the state of Michigan and also in the United States.
Owning Her Own Business as an Independent Contractor
With all the success she found after those years of hard work, some may be content to rest on their laurels. But not her. Bennett quit her job and started her own company. In her current position, Bennett is the CEO of her own company and works with her son.
Their company is involved in an effort to rebuild Detroit and has been contracted to work on big projects like the Little Caesars Arena. She has come a long way and successfully made her own path in a male-dominated industry. Currently, there are over 212,969 master plumbers employed in the United States, and only 2.8% of them are women.
About RiverView Mechanical
RiverView Mechanical is a local woman-owned business serving Hallam, PA, and the surrounding areas. They offer honest pricing, financing, and on-time service. Call them today for plumbing services in Hallam, PA.
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