Public housing residents hope to paint a new career path (Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority)

Date Published: 
November 7th, 2022

From Spectrum News 1 Cincinnati:

Armed with half a dozen paintbrushes, a handful of rollers and a few buckets of paint, a dozen residents with Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority hoped to brighten up their community space and employment outlook with a little hands-on training. 

The free course through Sherwin Williams has been a part of CMHA’s M.O.V.E. program since 2015, but with employers reporting the hiring pool for skilled workers getting smaller and smaller, trainers like Bill Allman said it’s only grown more important since the pandemic.  

Across the construction market, Associated Builders and Contractors reported 2022 began with just 91% of the construction workforce the country saw before the early months of the pandemic.

“It’s critical in this marketplace,” Allman said. "Painting contractors are dying for help.”

After two one-week painting certification courses at CMHA’s Winton Terrace Apartments, Allman hopes new graduates like Cindy Shields can soon get to work.


At the end of the course, Allman said the students attended a job fair that helped connect them with potential employers that could further their education on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction painters make around $21 per hour in Ohio.

Shields said once her training is complete, she hopes to start her own painting contracting company called “She Paints,” with the goal of getting more women in the trade. 

“Look out for us women,” she said. “We’ll be getting our hands dirty. We’ll be matching the men out here.”

Women currently make up about 9% of construction painters.

Read Spectrum News 1 Cincinnati's article "Public housing residents hope to paint a new career path," featuring the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority.

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