Ironworkers local 512
My name is Alisha Robberstad, and I’m a second year apprentice in Ironworkers local 512. It began when I realized I hated my job, so I decided to attend a welding program at MCTC. My instructor there was a retired journeyman from local 512, who advised me to apply to the IW apprenticeship. As my 31st birthday approaches this month, I only look forward to improving and learning more. I was undeterred when I noticed how much younger some of my colleagues are/were when they started and I would suggest it not stop anyone else from joining the trades either.
Nothing makes me feel as tough as pull-starting a maniac saw or flipping a welding hood over my face before striking an arc. I was initially interested in becoming an ironworker because of welding, but I stayed for the variety. Whether it’s structural or reinforcing, stuffing and snapping bolts, or tying rebar on a bridge, I enjoy what we do. I’ve had to remind myself that not everyone can be a natural and it takes time to develop these skills, but it’s worth it. It’s also very rewarding to look back and see the improvements that I’ve made. I hope to see our future membership grow with more women who make the same decision as me.