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Empowering Women in Industry Change Maker: Crystal Moore

tradeswoman wearing ppe

Hello, my name is Crystal Moore. I am a Journeyman Carpenter and Leader in the industry. Years back if someone had told me that this is who I would be today I would not have believed them. I was not brought up in the trades and for almost a decade of my life battled addiction, so let’s start there.

Growing up was far from normal. I dropped out of school in 7th grade and left home when I was about 13 years old.  I struggled with addiction and homelessness bouncing around from place to place, going in and out of the system.  In 2012 I finally hit rock bottom and landed myself in prison. It’s the very last place where I thought I would make a fresh start, but it ended up being the turning point in my life that I so desperately needed.

Once I was released, I had multiple job interviews, but none led to job offers due to my criminal history. I will never forget my last job interview at Kentucky Fried Chicken, the interview went horribly wrong and left me feeling completely hopeless. It was at that point I realized that I wanted something better for myself. I decided to go back to school, looking at what my local college offered I immediately knew that I wanted to learn a trade, so I enrolled in their Carpentry Tech program.

Having zero experience, I struggled a lot in the beginning and thought I would never catch on. It didn’t help that I was the only women in the classroom. I felt like I wanted to give up more times than I could count. With the support of my instructor and classmates I finally started to realize how much I loved carpentry!

tradeswoman posing next to wall

Two years later in 2016 I graduated with high honors and was also the first carpentry student in the college’s history to receive the President’s award at graduation. After graduation I joined the Carpenter’s Union and completed their 4-year apprenticeship program. I was a foreman for several years then went on to be the first woman superintendent for one of Seattle’s top contractors. Today I am the lead Supervisor for a smaller company which allows me to have more time to pursue my dream of being an artist as well as a tradeswoman.

A few years back I returned to the prison where I did time, but this time as a speaker. I remember while I served my time hearing stories from outside speakers that made me believe I could have a better life. I believe it is extremely important to share our experiences and stories no matter how dark they may be. You never know how it could impact someone that is going through a tough time, or how it could give hope to someone who has a loved one that is battling addiction of any form.

I know what it is like to be the only woman in the room, to feel hopeless and to have people doubt me because of my past. But I also know what it is like to have people believe in me more than I believed in myself, to feel hopeful for the future and to succeed even when the odds are against me. So, I write and speak my story whenever I get a chance. Not only to give hope to others but to show others that no matter where you come from you can achieve great things and you don’t have to do it alone.

By: Crystal Moore

Connect with Crystal

Check out this article and others like it in our Empowering Women in Industry Magazine.

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