Detroit mother starts own company, trains women for construction
DETROIT – A mother in Detroit traded in her desk chair for a hard hat and she's encouraging other women to do the same.
Residents of Detroit have been seeing a lot of renovations, but something they don't see often is an all-woman team. LeAnna Noble is hoping to change that with Ren Women Construction.
"A lot of times, you'll see this kind of stuff passed down from father to son, generation to generation," Noble said. "It makes me feel good to pass this on to other women."
Khadejah McKenzie is Noble's daughter and works under her mother as a contractor.
"I always saw my mom get the job done no matter what," McKenzie said. "And to see her in a male dominated field, taking over. I enjoy it because it just fuels my fire."
A few years ago, Noble was in a different field and worked a 9-to-5 job as an analyst for Ford, GM, Blue Cross and more. Her husband, Ron Noble, worked long hours as a contractor. LeAnna Noble started shadowing him to learn more.
"I really got to appreciate what he did. I started enjoying it," Noble said. "Doing it on nights and weekends and I'm, like, 'You know what? I feel like I'm working two jobs.'"
That's when Noble decided to switch careers. She went back to school and became licensed. Noble's company predominantly employs women, whom she trains on her own for free.
She starts with the basics -- teaching drywalling, drilling and a little math, too.
"I always wanted to do it but I never had anyone to teach me how," said Marie Lewis. "I've been a single mom for so long too. I just want to do something on my own to teach my children."
After a few hours of detailed training from Noble, Lewis said she got the hang of the job and is fitting in with the others.
"Now that I'm doing it, I'm loving it," Lewis said. "I'm so geeked."
Noble plans to train more women like Lewis to build her own unstoppable squad. Her training program is two weeks long. After the two weeks, if the trainee is interested, Noble offers them a job.
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