Newell: “Training equals more work”

Charlene “Moana” Newell remembers her father supporting five children with a career in construction and knew being a union carpenter would give her the same ability. So, 24 years ago, she became an apprentice for the Hawaii Carpenters Union.

Today, the mother of seven supports her family as a member of Local 745 of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters. 

When not working, and on many weekends, Moana logs training hours. Through a steady regimen of upgrade training, Moana is certified or qualified in programs including scaffolding, aerial lift, fall protection, and OSHA 10 and 30. She is focusing on rigging next.

Just as she learned from her dad, she now learns from her Brothers and Sisters, saying she finds learning from those with more experience in the given subject matter especially helpful.

“Training equals more work. I set goals for myself and I want to learn and bring back something  for my kids. It’s great that the training is out there for people like me.”

Moana keeps her skills from safety training at top-of-mind at home, too.

“I teach my kids about safety techniques all the time. I ask them, would you rather take a couple seconds to do it right or spend two hours in an ER? The important part is to not ever stop learning.”