As the demand for highly skilled construction tradespeople continues to grow in the Pittsburgh region, women like Samantha Lippert-Kendall are finding their call to work for Insulators Local 2 from all aspects of the trade. As the saying goes, “empowered women, empower women,” and Lippert-Kendall motivates others to support women entering the industry after gaining her experience from Insulators Local 2.
Lippert-Kendall follows a nontraditional career path as a woman and continues to lead as a prime example of women entering a male dominated workforce. A graduated apprentice as of September 2019, she has earned a broad range of opportunities as a tradesperson and continues to receive work on a constant basis. Lippert-Kendall says, “I love my work as an insulator, and it was not something I saw myself doing at first. I started later in my age, but it has set me up for life with learning opportunities that can be applicable to everyday tasks.”
The work of an insulator covers areas from industrial, commercial to cryogenics. Apprentices strategically plan using blue prints and utilize special tools ranging from welding machines, trowels, leveling tools and more. The paid, hands-on experience allows each apprentice to perform above proficiency in the diverse working conditions of each project.
Lippert-Kendall says, “The skills are needed across the country and it’s more than a construction job that involves a hard hat and getting dirty. It’s a trade for a reason with extensive, hands-on training that prepares you to learn the craft and hone your skills. The union has your back 100 percent of the way.”
As a 2nd year apprentice at the age of 28, she found that attending trade shows served as a resource to find her place in the industry. Today, she continues to attend as many trade shows as possible, voicing her experience to prospective women with an interest in the construction industry. Most recently, Lippert-Kendall was able to attend the 2019 NABTU Trade Women Build Nations Conference with business manager Jim Cassidy and two other apprentices.
Lippert-Kendall says, “I am a single, 32-year-old with no kids and a college degree. Women who follow a nontraditional career path in a male dominated field are not marketed to people like us. Once we go through the proper training though, our accomplishments speak volumes to what were capable of. I’m proud to have my place, voice my experience and shine a light to other apprentices that we have a rewarding place in the trades as well.”
Photos with Captions:
From Left: Samantha Lippert-Kendall, Jessica Burney, Kayla Varney, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Greg Revard, Courtney Daffern
Samantha Lippert-Kendall (left) and three Ladies from Chicago Local 17 and Courtney Daffern, (center), Local 2 Pittsburgh Apprentice
Samantha Lippert-Kendall Profile