UA 400 Pipe Trades and the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) hosted its Women in the Pipe Trades Open House on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at the UA 400 training center in Kaukauna to recognize International Women’s Day. The event featured a one-hour panel discussion with four women working in the industry followed by a brief question and answer session. The panelists included Kim Bassett, president and CEO of Bassett Mechanical, Laura Ceja, training and outreach representative for the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices in the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry; Maria Blochowiak, director of Human Resources at Team Industries, Inc.; and Maddy DeJardin, third-year UA 400 steamfitter apprentice with Trevor Martin, UA 400 business manager serving as moderator. The women spoke about the opportunities for women in the pipe trades, shared their experiences and offered advice for women considering a career in the industry. Following the panel discussion, more than 75 attendees toured the training facility, watched demonstrations by UA 400 tradeswomen and met with local contractors. Each guest received a pink T-shirt to commemorate the event.
"In line with International Woman's Day, UA 400 doubled down on our efforts to make sure women of all ages in Northeast Wisconsin know about UA 400 and the opportunities that exist within,” said UA 400 Business Manager Trevor Martin. “Our first ever Women in the Pipe Trades event was a great way not only to bring awareness to our industry but to also recognize our current female members, business owners, and industry partners for all their great accomplishments. I am hoping our event triggers more women to consider a career with UA 400 and one of our contractor partners.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 3.8% of welders, 2.3% of plumbers, and 1.5% of HVAC technicians were women in 2020. Aspiring UA 400 tradeswomen must complete a five-year apprenticeship that is fully paid, to hone their technical proficiencies.
“I felt it was important for Maddy and me to participate to show young women that they can work in a male dominated industry and be successful, enjoy what one does and overcome any preconceived barriers,” said Bassett Mechanical President and CEO Kim Bassett. “I am of the belief that women can do any job that a man can do, and even do it better. Women generally bring inherent skills to the trades that are critical for success: good communicators, multi-taskers, and problem solvers, to name a few.”
UA 400 signatory contractors, representing the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA), who attending the event included Tweet/Garot Mechanical, Hurckman Mechanical Industries, Inc., Bassett Mechanical, and JF Ahern Company. Jeff Gaecke, executive vice president of the Mechanical Contractors Association also addressed the audience.
“International Women’s Day was the perfect opportunity for women to personally tell other women about career success in an apprenticeship with Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 400,” said Laura Ceja, special representative for training and outreach with the United Association. “Today, women in the trades are in high demand. Any woman looking to earn high wages, in a highly skilled career with zero college debt should talk to the women of UA Local 400 about the opportunities to earn while you learn.”
The UA 400 five-year apprenticeship training programs provide classroom instruction with UA Certified Instructors and on-the-job training alongside experienced UA journeyworkers and apprentices. Once an apprentice has completed her apprenticeship and becomes a journeyworker, the education and training doesn’t stop. Continuing education opportunities are available to all UA members through specialized training and certification programs.
For more information on training and apprenticeship opportunities, contact UA 400 Pipe Trades.
About UA Local 400 Pipe Trades
The UA 400 Pipe Trades, headquartered in Kaukauna, Wisconsin with an office in Fond du Lac, is comprised of approximately 2,300 members serving eighteen counties in Northeast Wisconsin. The organization is affiliated with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of Plumbers and Pipefitters with an estimated 345,000 membership throughout the United States and Canada. The group’s mission is to be the preferred choice for industries, employers and workers specializing in plumbing, pipefitting, HVACR service and fabrication as well as training for its members and qualified manpower to their 105 signatory contractors. The UA 400 takes pride in their partnerships and contributions to serve local communities with organizations such as Cerebral Palsy Telethon, Special Olympics, Rebuilding Together, Heat’s On Project, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Program, Freedom House and Salvation Army. To keep up with the latest news and learn more about UA 400, visit http://www.ua400.org follow us on Facebook and YouTube.