Ayesca Machado, Apprentice with Pipefitters Local 537
Two years ago, Ayesca Machado, an apprentice with Pipefitters Local 537, was searching for a new direction in her life. The Quincy resident had just come out of a tough divorce, was out of work, and homeless. That’s when she read a Building Pathways pre-apprenticeship recruitment flier while at a homeless shelter.
Today, at age 37, Ayesca spends her days at a Fenway Park construction site, one of several women working on a 5,000-person musical venue project next to the ballpark. She’s making more than she did at her old medical administration job and learning new and interesting things every day about being a pipefitter.
“I was going through a major transition in my life,” Ayesca recalls. “Every day I’m doing something different, I’m doing something new.”
Ayesca, who began her pipefitters apprenticeship in 2021, says she appreciates the benefits that come with her apprenticeship, as well as the chance to work in a nurturing environment. “It’s been amazing. My crew’s awesome,” she says. “I get a lot of hands-on experience. Just last week my foreman had me run some drain lines by myself. Everyone’s been helpful, teaching me about the business. I’ve had great instructors.”
Ayesca adds, “It’s really nice to see projects from start to finish, and to be able to say, ‘I was a part of that.’ For me, it’s been exciting learning about all these different mechanical systems, how they work, and meeting new people on the job. It’s been exciting seeing the building come together.”