Who is Adrienne Bennett?
Adrienne Bennett is the first Black woman to become a master plumber in the United States. In honor of Black History Month, this blog will discuss her successful and groundbreaking career in plumbing. Her perseverance and determination led her to make her own path where there wasn’t one already.
The Early Years
As one of eight siblings, Bennett stood out by earning good grades in school, where she was interested in math and science. She worked at an engineering firm for a training program that led to a university where she hoped to gain an engineering degree. However, because of a racially charged incident with someone at the firm, she left the job and never attended college.
After a few years, a recruiter from the Mechanical Contractors Association of Detroit approached her at a 1976 election rally about an apprenticeship program for skilled trades. Soon after, she got into a five-year apprenticeship program with a plumbers’ union.
Throughout her training, she did well and earned praise for her work. However, she was surrounded by men and had to deal with harassment and hostility from her male peers. But she persevered, and when she completed the program, she became the first woman in the state to do it.
After completing her training and the required 4,000 hours of experience to qualify for the master plumber exam, she took the test and became the first Black woman to become a master plumber in her state of Michigan and the entire country. Bennett was able to land several desirable positions within the field. She worked as a journeyman plumber, a master plumber, a project manager, a plumbing inspector, and a code enforcement officer for the city of Detroit.
After making her way through the plumbing industry and many years in the business, Bennett was ready to work as an independent contractor. She now runs a company with her son, which is involved in rebuilding Detroit and focuses on water conservation. She is continuing her successful career as the President and CEO of her company.
Her trailblazing path in a male-dominated industry continues, and she helps the next generation of tradespeople too by sitting on the Architectural Engineering Advisory Board for Lawrence Technological University, the college she had planned on going to but never got to attend.
About Super Plumbers
Super Plumbers is a family-owned and operated full-service plumbing company serving Tyler, TX, and the surrounding areas. They offer 24/7 emergency repairs, upfront pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services in Tyler, TX.