Arizona Building and Construction Trades Council


Zeidy Carbajal is determined, hardworking and not willing to let excuses hold her back from reaching her full potential. Carbajal is no stranger to construction job site debates about whether it’s worth going through an apprenticeship program. For Carbajal, learning on the job wasn’t teaching her the skills she needed to further her career, so she decided to take her future into her own hands by enrolling in the Finishing Trades Institute of Arizona program affiliated with International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT).

When Carbajal began her career as a painter, she was a blank canvas and had no prior experience. She wanted to expand her skills set but was not learning on the job like she had hoped.

Carbajal reached out to one of her coworkers who she knew was enrolled in the apprenticeship program. He was learning the skills needed to not only be more efficient at work, but to become a skilled craftsperson and leader in the trade.

For Carbajal, the apprenticeship program has been more than an opportunity to learn the skills that she can use on the job. It was also a chance to prove herself.

“As a woman they always tell us that the tools are too heavy and that we don’t have the strength,” said Carbajal. “As time passes you feel satisfied knowing that you can do that.”

Carbajal not only surprises herself, but also surprises her peers by demonstrating what she’s capable of doing. Her experience at the apprenticeship program has motivated her to continue working hard. Once she’s a journeywoman, she hopes to serve as a role model and help others develop the skills and gain the knowledge they will need to be successful in the trade.