Verna believes that we should not make excuses or lay blame for the condition of our communities, but strategically work together to keep them healthy. Every individual who lives or have lived in a community is responsible for the condition in which they find it. The Carpenter’s Daughter Apprenticeship Programs are working to fulfill their responsibility through apprenticeships, because we believe: “The community you build may be your own.”
The Carpenter’s Daughter’s career in construction and industry training has been a project underway. Verna is a mother and grandmother, a twin and the youngest daughter of fourteen children. Career paths in the rural south are hard to imagine, you just simply keep building until something transpires. She has worked in trade and industry for over 30 years. Her path begin in industry just like most young women in the South through garment factories, poultry plants, domestic work, and other part-time employment. Verna shadowed her father, a migrant worker from Mississippi, who seemed most valuable to his community as a carpenter.
In 1995, she left Lake Village, Arkansas and began a career with 3M Little Rock Granule Plant as a general helper, but soon excelled in positions of shift leader, kiln operator, and a union representative. After nine years with the company, Verna pursued her education at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock, Arkansas; she earned an Associate of Applied Science in Construction Management for Residential Building. After completing her degree she worked part-time at Home Depot and with Pulaski Tech’s YouthBuild organization. In 2006, she started Perry Developers, a residential building company. After the crash of the housing market and limited resources for women to enter the construction trades, Verna returned to school and earned a B.S. and M.B.A. at the University of Phoenix.
She worked as a maintenance supervisor with the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) for five years. In 2013, she was hired as an Industry Training Specialist for Southeast Arkansas College (SEARK). As an industry trainer, she was afforded the opportunity to work with a range of industries throughout Southern Arkansas and become a certified ACT Job Profiler. Verna worked at Riverside Vocational Technical School, as an Instructor and Educational Program Manager. She became an informed an promotional advocate for National Center for Construction and Education Research (NCCER) standardized curriculum and certifications, OSHA training, and other portable certifications for trade and industry.
Now a resident of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Verna hopes that the Carpenter’s Daughter Apprenticeship Programs will become one of the catalysts for the next generation of community tradesmen/women in Southern Arkansas.
“Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.” Adelaide Hoodless
Equal Opportunity in Apprenticeship under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30.
615 S Main St. Ste. 4, Pine Bluff, AR 71601 | 870-265-0186