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Elevating the Industry Through Innovative Career Opportunities

WTI Carlata Stewart Interview
October 18, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.

By Dani Sheehan. 

See why Carlata loves her job in the construction industry and how it’s helping inspire others. 

At WTI, they are working to expand the industry in innovative ways, providing educational programs and career pathways that make a difference. One such program is called ELEVATE, a second-chance employment program and initiative that provides incarcerated individuals the opportunity to take accredited roofing classes and hands-on training for immediate employment upon release. Education and Community Outreach Coordinator, Carlata Stewart, currently heads this program in WTI’s RISE department. Having accepted this new position in January 2023, Carlata has worked with WTI since 2017, and she absolutely loves her job. 

In her day-to-day responsibilities, she’s “pretty much that additional support that they have, outside of their family and friends, that just help them to stay focused mainly in their career journeys, but also it kind of carries on into their personal lives where they have me there to just be that additional support to them.” She loves to be a part of that journey with these individuals and provide them with opportunities that support changes in their lives.  

One of her employees is a success story from this program and has now been with the company almost four years. After being incarcerated eleven times throughout her life, when she received the call, she thought it was too good to be true, but interviewed and accepted the position anyway. As Carlata recounts, this employee missed her bus on the first day, calling her supervisor in tears, frustrated about what to do. “So he went and got her and she’s been with us ever since. She gained custody of her children...[and] now is thriving in her career. She has her own truck, she has her ladder, she has her laptop. She’s just really doing really, really good.” 

WTI is in the process of partnering with their first women’s facility in Florida, where they’ll begin providing training. Carlata is one of three in the RISE department working on projects across the nation, and while they’re already doing great work, they haven’t reached every state. Carlata says it’s a slow process, but they want it to be right. “And we want to make sure that we are representing Tremco and WTI and women to the best of our abilities here.” She believes they already are in their own company. “Leadership is women, and we love that. That’s not something typically seen or heard of within the construction industry. So, for me, it’s just inspiring.” 

Having moved from the dental industry to the construction industry, Carlata has her own career journey to share with the individuals she’s helping: “You may start here, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not able to go to a different direction or elevate or grow or make certain changes... I didn’t think that this particular job that I’m in right now, this position I’m in right now, I didn’t think it would ever come. It’s surreal to me. I’m still like, wow, that’s what I do, and I love it.” 

Learn more about Tremco WTI in their Coffee Shop Directory or visit www.tremcoroofing.com/wti-and-services/wti-general-contracting/.

About Dani

Dani is a writer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When she's not writing or researching, she's training for trail races and working on her yoga teaching certification.



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