Abigail Pritchard was drawn to the craft of carpentry – the ability to apply knowledge and skill to fashion useful items and structures from raw materials. She graduated from Ranken Technical College with an Associate Degree in Carpentry and Building Construction Technology in May 2020.
Abby thrived in the program. Carpentry instructor John Davis noted her reliability and the fact she “always jumped in to help out.” In her second year, she especially enjoyed the ability to work on actual construction projects on properties owned by the Ranken Community Development Corporation (RCDC). “After learning the basics of carpentry and construction, my transition into an apprenticeship was as smooth as it could be,” Abigail tells us. Among her favorite memories is the day she helped install the roof trusses. “It was very satisfying seeing our house get one step closer to being closed off from the elements.”
Not long after graduation Abigail established herself on the west coast in Seattle, where she has family. Abby has worked for Mētis Construction on a variety of remodeling projects, uncovering timber and trusses and repurposing older buildings while restoring them to their former glory. Andy Madden, a project manager at Mētis, has been astounded by the new apprentice’s immediate impact. “She is a quick learner . . . with an amazing work ethic. Abby was well-prepared by Ranken; she is ready to work every day.”
Mētis is an organization committed to the tradition of the craftsperson contractor, and Abigail was also impressed by their dedication to equity and social justice. “The fact that it is worker-owned drew me to this company,” Abby observes. “I am loving my job and my mentors have been fantastic . . . I couldn’t be happier in my new home.”