OTI is so proud of Jen Netherwood who was announced as the “2015 Irwin Trade Professional” by Irwin Tools for her dedication and inspiring work in the trades!

Jen has been working as a carpenter in the construction industry for more than 11 years. She worked for Neil Kelley as a high end residential re-modeler for many years before deciding that she wanted to become more involved in shaping the community.

 Soon after leaving her carpentry career at Neil Kelly, Jen was hired as an instructor for a pre-apprenticeship program in a women’s correctional facility. The program was designed to provide women the training and skills needed to pursue a living wage career once they are released.The program lost funding, but Jen was committed to continuing the work to help these women flourish. She approached the Bureau of Labor and Industries and collaborated with a local community college to work on developing the pre-apprenticeship program for the prison that wasn’t reliant on corporate support. She did this on her own time, unpaid, and from a selfless place where her primary interest was only to continue to provide hope for the women she had worked with in prison.

She continues to volunteer at the correctional facility doing information presentations for groups of women and talking to inmates individually. Jen also works with OTI as an instructor for our Trades and Apprenticeship Career Class, imparting her knowledge and skills to OTI’s pre-apprenticeship students. Clearly, Jen is a teacher and mentor at heart.

Congratulations, again, Jen!


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