Operating Engineers Local 49
I grew up around heavy equipment and my dad taught me to respect them because they were bigger than me and could cause serious damage if not taken seriously. They looked like fun, so I followed his advice. The heavy lifting and transportation they were designed to do fascinated me. I became a teen mom, but with family support, I did what I had to do until my time came to do what I held near and dear to my heart: become an operator like my dad.
Meanwhile, my brothers and daughter were operating equipment and I lived vicariously through them, until my youngest graduated high school. Then, with my husband's support, I chased my dreams so he could stay close to home with his children until they graduate(d). I never dreamt I would operate a crane, but here we are. To date, I can operate: a loader, rubber tire backhoe, skidsteer, telehandler, lattice boom crawler crane, swing cab (large hydro) crane, and a fixed cab (small hydro) crane.
I look forward to spending time at our training center learning more equipment. In the meantime, I have been willing to help other apprentices if they want help and I am continuing to learn something new every day that I like to share with others as well.