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Construction Grad Crew participant begins career in solar

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Cyenna Connor starts career in the trades after building construction skills through commercial projects and affordable housing construction.

Cyenna Connor started learning construction skills when she joined the Foundations for the Trades program in 2021. This program is a partnership between Operation Fresh Start (OFS) and the Urban League of Greater Madison. When she learned more about OFS, she was drawn to the mission.

“I love that OFS builds houses for low-income communities,” said Connor. “That’s why I joined OFS — because I know I’m doing the work for a good cause.”

Connor has worked on both commercial and residential projects during her time on the OFS Construction Graduate Crew. Her first project was working with construction professionals from Findorff to build the new SSM Health South Madison clinic on Fish Hatchery Road. She has helped build two new-construction homes in Sun Prairie.

Her final project was a renovation project on the east side, making improvements to a home purchased by the Madison Area Community Land Trust from a seller who wanted to give back to the community instead of listing on the open market.

Cyenna Connor (front right in safety yellow jacket) with OFS participants and staff who worked on the east Madison home renovation project.

Connor says she came into the program with minimal construction knowledge and she’s excited to have gained the experience to begin a career installing solar panels for an Appleton-based company called AZCO.

“I start a job tomorrow in the union and I’ve been waiting for this moment for months,” said Connor. “So I’m really happy.”

“I just want to thank everyone at OFS for their help getting to my career path.”


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