Vennicia Kingston | Eagle Eye Properties LLC CEO
Vennicia Kingston is CEO of Providence-based Eagle Eye Post Construction Services, which offers construction laborers, cleaning and site-support services. She is a member of the Local 271 Laborers’ Union and has been an active mentor and advocate for women in construction over the last decade.
1. Why did you join the Building Futures apprenticeship program? I joined because at the time I wanted to buy a house and that’s always been a dream of mine. I had a job, but it was minimum wage. I came across Building Futures as an opportunity for me to get into a union, for one, and get great medical [coverage] and get great pay. So, when that opportunity came along, I chose to go to the class and try. I knew nothing about construction at all. I made it through, and I was working probably within a year, and after a year and a half I purchased my first home. That’s what Building Futures has done for me. It has truly been a life-changing experience.
2. How important was the program to getting hired? At Building Futures, after a student graduates is when their position as a program and their benefits really step in. That’s when they really step up and make sure that their goal is not only to have people graduate, but are working, and not only working, but staying at work.
3. How has the training impacted your decision to start your own business? The program is one of the reasons I got so involved with the women’s movement and part of that is why I started my own business. It is such a male-dominated field; women have such an uphill battle in the construction industry. … Building Futures has opened my eyes and given me some tools as to not only how to deal with situations, but how to be a leader in my community.
4. What is the most important thing you learned from Building Futures and how are you currently applying that aspect? The most important thing I learned is my responsibility and my role in my community. … It started off being about me, but once I got in and I realized the opportunity that it provided to me, it became a means for me to get my friends and loved ones out of the situation they are in. … Building Futures made me realize how critical and important my role is in my community and how much change I can make by being a role model and doing the right thing.