She experienced been performing portion time for a development subcontractor in the business enterprise business office during school, and she was fascinated by how roofs had been crafted, she explained.
“I’ve always been a palms-on individual and roofing is a thing that truly intrigued me,” claimed Santiago-Vega, 36, who life in Columbus, Ohio.
When she stop her job in academia about 4 a long time in the past and advised buddies and family members that she had decided instead to pursue a career developing roofs, Santiago-Vega explained every person imagined she had missing her mind.
“My parents had been stunned,” she explained. “They were like, ‘You have this training — you have been researching your entire lifetime. And now you’re just going to give it up? That is mad!’”
“Everyone questioned what I was performing,” she said, noting that she has a few university degrees: a bachelor’s diploma in linguistics and a master’s diploma in English schooling from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and an instruction expert degree from Ohio Condition University.
Santiago-Vega began dropping by dwelling sites in which new roofs had been becoming set up and made available to assist thoroughly clean up the mess still left on the ground by roofing crews, she reported.
“I’d clear up the trash and check with a great deal of queries,” she mentioned. “As I’d decide up the supplies they’d thrown to the floor, I’d request, ‘What exactly is this? How do you install it? Which roofing product is the greatest?’”
She rescues infant squirrels: ‘They’re very destructive. I really don’t treatment. I enjoy them.’
She before long enrolled in roofing lessons, turned certified and begun her have company coming up with and setting up roofs on households and companies in Columbus. She is now a supervisor and teacher for the GAF Roofing Academy, a nationwide training method for roofers.
Santiago-Vega graduated from the GAF software four yrs ago and claimed she now belongs to an special club she calls the “Shingle Ladies” — woman roofing instructors and contractors with a passion for putting in neat rows of shingles or tiles on steep surfaces.
She will be educating lessons in Denver by way of March 3 at a no cost two-week GAF Roofing Academy completely for women of all ages. Santiago-Vega hopes to demonstrate females — no issue the place they are in their life — that it isn’t important to have a college or university degree to generate a respectable living, she stated.
“Yes, roofing is a male-dominated marketplace, and that may appear scary to some,” mentioned Santiago-Vega, detailing that only about 4 p.c of licensed roofers are ladies. The Countrywide Women in Roofing firm now counts additional than 2,100 associates.
He broke off their engagement in 1963. Sixty a long time later on, they tied the knot.
“Women can engage in an significant job in filling the shortages in the sector,” Santiago-Vega stated. “To those people who feel we just can’t do it, guess what? We’re proving them completely wrong each day.”
She explained that male learners are generally amazed when they see her using the direct in class.
“I believe it is just not what they count on, but that quickly goes by the wayside as soon as we get to operate,” she explained. “Any uncertainties change to have confidence in as they understand I’m not only a experienced roofer, but a terrific trainer.”
In addition to continuous perform, roofing can have surprising benefits, Santiago-Vega explained.
“It can get definitely incredibly hot up there on the roof with the sunlight beating down, and you also have to offer with the cold,” she reported. “But there’s these a terrific feeling in a position properly carried out. Men and women are trusting you with their finest asset: their dwelling.”
“If your property is not safeguarded with a excellent roof, all that income you expended on reworking your kitchen or placing in a new garage isn’t heading to make any difference,” she included. “A stable roof is almost everything.”
A 3-legged pet dog was having difficulties. A substantial college engineering course stepped in.
Lauren Morley, co-owner of R3NG, a roofing contractor in Denver, hopes to move alongside that very same message to females who come to the career fair held all through the GAF Roofing Academy method in her metropolis.
“There aren’t pretty a lot of gals carrying out what I do, and I’d like to persuade more of them to give roofing careers a try,” claimed Morley, 32, noting that she managed a golf study course prior to she resolved that providing roofs and putting in them would be extra lucrative and desirable.
“Very number of people improve up stating they want to be a roofer sometime — nearly everybody in the market utilized to do something else,” she claimed.
“We’re recognised as the ‘second chance’ industry,” Morley added.
“If they are inclined to put in the tricky get the job done, a excellent contractor will be inclined to give them a prospect,” she reported.
At the cost-free Denver party, girls are taught everything from how to strip off old roofing product to how to install new shingles on a steep slope.
Graduates of the academy will also get certificates demonstrating they have done basic abilities and are skilled for entry-stage roofing employment, mentioned Santiago-Vega.
Nancy Yobei, 25, stated she was impressed to indicator up for the all-female roofing academy because she wants to make a steady wage and doesn’t want to spend the relaxation of her lifestyle working inside of an workplace in Denver.
“I’m psyched to see where this will take me,” she said. “There is far more to roofing than what persons think there is, and I have this curiosity. I want to discover far more.”
“I appreciate to see ladies do what guys can do, for the reason that we can do it improved,” Yobei added.
For Nukia Holmes of Denver, recollections of assisting her dad with his resources when she was youthful designed her understand she could be cut out for a career that includes pounding nails, she stated.
“Hearing about this chance sparked one thing inside of me that manufactured me say, ‘Why not?’” claimed Holmes, 23. “I enjoy finding out, and I’m a palms-on human being. I’m truly excited to start off working with the [roofing] applications.”
She and other graduates of the program will each obtain a $250 stipend in addition to tools worth $200 once they land their initial positions, Santiago-Vega claimed.
She mentioned she would enjoy to be there to witness the new roofers’ reactions when they are ready to stand again and glance at their initial concluded roofs, lined with rows of neat shingles.
“It’s a fulfilling and fulfilling detail when you understand that you experienced the heart and the drive to take element in producing that roof come about,” Santiago-Vega explained.
As a bonus, she added, “the sunrises and sunsets aren’t so bad both.”