Meet Johnetta Abraham, Cement Mason
If a construction job calls for concrete of any kind — whether it be pouring curbs and sidewalks, pouring foundations or retaining walls — or for concrete finishing — a cement mason is the right person for the job. “I enjoy getting in the mud, working with the mud,” says Johnetta Abraham.
Before becoming a cement mason, Johnetta completed a pre-apprenticeship program with Oregon Tradeswomen. “They really helped me on the math. I hadn’t been to school for years and I was kind of rusty.”
The job of a cement mason can be both rewarding and demanding at times. It results in a finished work product that gets a lot of visibility on a completed job site. “I like seeing a finished product,” says Johnetta. “I like telling my kids that I had something to do with that. Something they can see. Something concrete.” At the same time, the work can be demanding on the body. It requires physical strength and a lot of lifting. And according to Johnetta, “If you don’t hustle, you get laid off.”
Regardless of the challenges, however, Johnetta enjoys her work and she’s creatively motivated to succeed. “Before, you know, I just had a job and I was using it to make the bills. Now I’m happy with what I’m doing.”
Photo credit: Dawn Jones,Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.