MARLBOROUGH – Superintendent Ernest F. Houle is pleased to share that a former Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School student is its first female graduate to earn her journeyman plumber license.
Jen Gomez, a Class of 2017 graduate who grew up in Westborough, said her positive experiences at Assabet have shaped her career.
“I chose plumbing because I like working with my hands, and always want to learn something new,” Gomez said. “I like seeing how you start a project, then how much you have accomplished when the job is done, is very rewarding.”
Gomez is employed full-time by E.M. Duggan in Canton. To achieve her license, she needed to complete 8,500 hours of work as an apprentice, complete 550 hours of training, and pass an exam given by the Board of State Examiners of Plumbing and Gas Fitting.
Gomez credits her Plumbing Instructors — Brian Allard, Patrick Fullen, Martin Henry, and Brian Malone — with treating her the same as male students, and making sure she was included. Gomez says Allard helped her obtain her first plumbing job.
Malone recalled that Gomez, as a sophomore and one of only a few female Plumbing students, asked if her shop shirt could be a lighter shade of blue than those worn by male students. Malone agreed, then challenged Gomez to develop a shop logo that would be more gender-inclusive.
“Throughout her time at Assabet, Jen challenged our norms and helped Plumbing achieve its goal of 20 percent female students. She elevates everyone around her,” said Malone, who serves as Lead Teacher. “I can’t tell you how many barriers she has knocked down, because there are so many.”
Gomez also credits Reading and ESL Teacher Jennifer Goodman-Labbe and Bilingual Teacher/Counselor Aldina Vieira Wajsfelner for providing support throughout her time at Assabet Valley.
“They always believed in me even at times when I wasn’t sure that I could do it,” Gomez said.
“A goal of career technical education is to help students find both their career and their passion,” Superintendent Houle said. “We are so proud of what Jen has accomplished, and excited about what her future may bring.”