Apprenticeship Coordinator, Northwest Laborers’ Employers’ Training Trust
Christina Riley is an Alaskan Native, registered with the Haida & Tlingit Tribes. Her first job was with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe working at the Casino. From this, it did not take her a long time to realize she enjoyed working with her hands. After making a move from the Olympic Peninsula to the Tacoma area, Riley soon applied for the Laborers’ Apprenticeship Program in 2006. She did not know anyone in the trades, but work was busy, and it seemed like a great opportunity. After completing the Pre- Construction Training assessment, she was on the road to becoming a skilled Construction Craft Laborer.
Riley’s on the job experience varied from each jobsite. Whether it was her 5’1’’ stature, being a young woman or being an apprentice, every job site required her to prove herself. Being small in stature meant that things were always slightly more complicated for her to complete. Her goal was to be a homeowner, as both of her parents had never owned a home. Riley graduated the Apprenticeship program in 2008.
She continued her career working on jobs across Western Washington. Working on different projects such as, The Hood Canal East Side Replacement Pontoon Project as well as the demolition and rebuild of multiple Child developments centers on Joint base Lewis McCord. Riley also worked as a Concrete Foreman on the 520 Floating Bridge Project. The only obstacles that stood in her way on the job, was self-doubt. Once she realized her skill, and her talent she was able to take on any task.
Currently, Riley is the Apprenticeship Coordinator for the Northwest Laborers’ Employers’ Training Trust. The career path Riley has chosen not only led her to become the person she is today, but has led her to have the ability to purchase homes, go on trips, and raise two children. Her career path has been a surprise to her with the success reached; however, she has the drive and vision to keep achieving her goals. The greatest part of her current career is that she has the opportunity to speak, help, and mold current apprentices to be successful, and share with them on the job experiences to help them through the day-to-day challenges that can be found on a construction job site.