Melinda Nichols wanted to be a carpenter from the time she was five years old. She attended Seattle Community College in 1972 and entered the carpentry apprenticeship program in 1973. She applied for over 100 positions before she got her first job. She got her journey level card in 1977. She worked as a carpenter for 11 years, taught at ANEW (Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women) for seven years and ran Seattle City Light's apprenticeship programs for 8 years. She was a management member of the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council for 22 years. She was a construction manager and director for 10 years. Her last three years were spent as manager of Apprenticeship for the State of Washington Labor and Industries. She has since worked tirelessly as to support construction career awareness through projects that build tiny houses for the homeless.