Member Highlight: Asha Aboud

Member Highlight: Asha Aboud

March 1, 2024

Before becoming a carpenter apprentice, Asha Aboud (Local 322 – St. Paul, MN) graduated from Concordia University in 2019 with a degree in business and taught English in Spain for two years. When she moved back to Minnesota, Asha struggled to find a job related to her degree. Feeling discouraged, Asha kept up her search until she found carpentry which changed her life for the better.

Asha’s construction journey began with the MnDOT pre-apprentice program in 2023. Hesitant at first, her friend and brother strongly encouraged her to apply, so she took a leap of faith. When she completed the construction orientation with MnDOT, Asha was hooked, discovering her love of working with her hands and building things.

Asha is currently working with signatory contractor Frerichs Construction who has been a strong industry partner. Frerichs is based in St. Paul, Minnesota, and with a legacy dating back to 1983, they exemplify a steadfast commitment to sustainability within the construction industry. “I love the company I work for and the few foremen I’ve had a chance to work with have been awesome,” Asha shared while onsite at a remodeling project at Missions Inc. Programs in Plymouth, MN. For the past two months, Asha has played a huge part in this project.

Missions Inc. Programs offers housing, emergency shelter, and supportive services to domestic abuse survivors and individuals recovering from substance use disorders. Asha and the team at Frerichs are helping the Missions Inc. Programs remodel one of their lodging facilities with renovations for 21 single or double unit bedrooms, new window installation, and an updated HVAC system.

During this project, Asha has learned many things on the job site, both about the trade and herself. She takes the skills she is developing at work and uses them in improving her own home. She feels an immense amount of pride as a union carpenter. “As a tradeswomen, I am being recognized for my hard work. Before carpentry, I never felt appreciated for the work I did,” Asha stated.

asha working

Asha working onsite at the Missions Inc. Programs in Minnesota.

Frerichs’ foreman on the project, Sean Macaulay said, “Asha is one of the best apprentices you could ask for. She works so hard and is an incredibly valuable member of this team.” The connections Asha has made throughout the apprenticeship program have been very rewarding. She took a leap of faith joining the construction industry and now she recommends anyone looking for a new path to do the same.

“It’s not as daunting as it may seem,” Asha said. “Anyone is capable of doing this type of work, especially women. We need more women in the trades and they might even fall in love with it as I have.”