Local 18 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) fourth-year apprentice Nicole Severson always knew she wanted to be part of a trade. Her father was a diesel mechanic, her brother a sheet metal worker, and her uncles worked as an elevator operator and a heavy equipment operator, respectively – giving her a thorough knowledge of the trades from a young age. Now, as an environmental service tech, she says she loves the “unlimited possibilities and opportunities” of the unionized sheet metal industry. Read more about Nicole’s journey below:
What is your current title?
Environmental Service Tech.
How many years have you been in the trade?
What unique strengths do you bring to your trade?
Something unique I bring to the trade is my past office and customer service background.
What do you love to do when you are not at work?
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my friends, family and dog. We enjoy hiking and camping. I also enjoy cooking and listening to music.
Goals in the future — any ambitions or changes to your career, growth or education?
My goal in the future is to learn all the different aspects of this trade and gain knowledge in a bit of it all to become a well-rounded technician.
What surprised you about your trade?
What surprised me in this trade is the unlimited possibilities and opportunities.
What do you find frustrating about your job/trade?
I find it frustrating that this trade is not openly offered to young women, which I feel is something that is changing!
Tool you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my multi tool.
Best advice you got as an apprentice?
The best advice I received was to give it time and the knowledge will come; everyone starts out as an apprentice.
What do you think about Tradeswomen Build Nations?
Tradeswomen Build Nations is an awesome opportunity to meet and be around like-minded and strong women.
Are you active in trade-related activities such as career fairs, volunteer work or SMART Army events?
I am active in career fairs, speaking to high school students, and in our Local 18 Women’s Committee.