WIC Week 2024: Johanna Heath

Johanna Heath

ironworkers local 512
ABOUT johanna:

Before I joined the Ironworkers, I was working 4 jobs to support my kids. As a single mom, it was tough to find something that would give me both the time, and money to give me and my kids a good life. While working as a bartender, I was talking with some of the regulars saying how I wish I could find something better. Fortunately, some of them suggested the Ironworkers. They explained, that if I made the change, I would be taught the trade while working, and earning money at the same time. That appealed to me because I didn’t have time or money to start fresh in school.

When I started my apprenticeship, I was 35 years old. I wasn’t the oldest in my class or the youngest. I made friends right away in my class which made me feel at ease. That was the same for my first job. I didn’t know anyone or really know what I was doing. The guys there helped me out a lot. They taught me what to do and what not to do. They taught me some tricks of the trade, as well as some tricks they played on me! Each day I felt more at home and accustomed to the job sites. 

Since that first day I knew this would be a challenge, but I also knew this was the job for me! I enjoyed the physical aspects, as well as the problem solving that comes when things don’t work out right. And I cherish the brotherhood, and sisterhood that comes from completing a difficult job with my crew! I am a much happier person when I am working Iron, because I can provide for my kids and have quality time with them. Plus, all the friendships along the way! This isn’t a job for the weak minded but it is truly rewarding and worth every drop of sweat and blood that goes into working as an ironworker! 

This union also comes with many opportunities to advance. I am taking a lead role in our Women’s group, making sure every female in our trade has someone they can go to for anything. We are not only here for work but for each other in our personal lives! My goal is to become a Business Agent and then go into the International Union. I want nothing less than to make sure our union is thriving and our pension is growing. I will do what I can to make sure the future generations have a solid and fulfilling career just like the journey people before us! 

View all the 2024 WIC Week Profiles