Miller was motivated to make the most of her apprenticeship and career. She convinced instructors to let her take classes ahead of schedule so she could graduate early. She worked hard to learn to paint with both hands and perfect her craft. She even conquered her fear of heights and climbing ladders.
“There is just something about the work that drove me. I loved it,” Miller said. “You learned so much during the training and as a third-year apprentice, I was able to earn a good living and even buy a house. When I finished [the training] I was able to start working right away.”
Miller was often the only woman and the only person of color on the jobsite. Her experience was overwhelmingly positive. The men she worked with were professional and courteous. She is grateful to the foreman who trusted and mentored her while she honed her skills.
Miller retired from painting in 2015 and now works for the Minneapolis Urban League as a job developer. She advises people interested in a career in the trades and gets them started on the right path and prepared for success. She networks with unions and business owners to find job leads. The position is the perfect next step in her career. She advocates for the training and education apprentices receive and strongly believes in the benefits of a career in the trades. Miller said, the stability and peace of mind that comes from working in a fulfilling career and
earning a steady paycheck can be life changing.