What to Know About Adrienne Bennett and Her Accomplishments
When Adrienne Bennett signed up to be a plumbing apprentice in the 1970s, a woman in the field was practically unheard of––never mind a Black woman. But who is Adrienne Bennett, and what has she contributed to her field?
Here, one can learn all about this "hidden figure" and her contributions to society.
Adrienne Bennett Was Born in Chicago–-But Soon Moved to Detroit
According to an interview Bennett gave CNN in 2018, she was the fourth of eight children. She was a good student throughout her academic career, taking an early interest in math and science. She fondly recalls spending hours building an Apollo spacecraft model.
She briefly worked at an engineering firm in Detroit, where she hoped to enroll at Lawrence Technology University. Yet, a negative racially-motivated experience sidetracked her path.
But that wasn't the end. As she told media outlets: "I was taught as a young child that you finish what you start and you do a job well."
In 1976, her life changed forever. At a "Get Out the Vote" Rally for future President Jimmy Carter, Bennett met Gus Dowels, a representative for the Mechanical Contractors Association of Detroit. He was looking to connect with women who wanted to become plumbers. The last five women he'd connected with had started the project but then quit.
Upon meeting her, Dowels asked Bennett: "How would you like to make $50,000 a year?"
She had just one response. "Is it legal?"
The rest is history.
From Apprentice to Plumbing Contractor
Bennett's professional journey was a long one. She recalls that her co-workers locked her outside in the freezing cold on her first day on the job. Every day was a challenge. She would often be the only Black woman on a job site. Yet, those challenges kept her coming back day in and day out.
When asked about her long, detailed resume, Bennett told sources: "I've been a journeyman plumber, a master plumber, project manager, plumbing inspector, and code enforcement officer for Detroit for a decade. There was no place left to go but become an independent contractor… It was the final frontier."
Many people consider Bennett a plumbing pioneer, having paved the way for others to follow in her footsteps. Yet, Bennett tells media outlets, "I'm no different than you."
So, Where's Adrienne Bennett Today?
Today, Adrienne Bennett is the founder and CEO of Benkari LLC, a "pioneer in America's plumbing and construction industries. She founded the organization in 2008. CNN notes that Benkari LLC plays an instrumental role in trying to rebuild certain areas of Detroit, primarily the areas where Bennett grew up.
A few years ago, the U.S. Small Business Administration Michigan District named Bennett as the 2019 Women's Business Owner of the Year award. Along with her son, A.K. Bennett, she runs her business.
About Charles Krull & Son, Inc. Plumbing & Heating
Thanks to the achievements of Adrienne Bennet and others in her field, Charles Krull & Son, Inc. Plumbing & Heating can get the job done. These professionals have served their community for over 100 years, having gotten their start in 1910. Generation after generation, these professionals have offered top-notch service. Call today for plumbing service!