Sandy Thistle has been a carpenter for nearly 30 years. She began her commercial apprenticeship in the spring of 1989, earning her Journeycard in the spring of 1993. She has been teaching women how to use power tools since nearly the beginning, and carpentry skills part-time at Madison College for 23 years. She is currently the Program Director for Construction & Remodeling at Madison College and teaches carpentry full-time.
She has made it a career-long priority to widen the possibilities within the construction arena for a more diverse workforce, both in terms of gender and racial makeup. She has taught hands-on construction skills to adults for the YWCA’s TrANS Program, and the former Tools for Tomorrow Program at the college.
Throughout her career, she has volunteered her time teaching kids between the ages of 5-17 about carpentry concepts and how to use power tools. She has lead experiences with the Badgerland Girl Scouts including CampBUILD, Carpenters’ District Council “Kids Build”, as a guest at area high schools and middle schools, and worked with a neighborhood girls group to build birdhouses. The freedom and accomplishment kids feel when learning how to use tools safely lasts a lifetime. Carpentry can be a great fit for kids on the move!