WIC Week 2024: Rebecca Koons

Rebecca Koons

operators local 49
ABOUT Rebecca:

How did you become interested in becoming an operating engineer?
My husband is a union operator which gave me the ability to stay home and raise our son. After our son left for college, it only seemed fitting for me to travel with my husband for work, and that’s how I became an operator. A lot of people we meet along the way say they can’t believe we work together because they could never work with their spouse, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

 What do you do for work and favorite job you’ve done? 
I am an oiler, a rigger and crane operator. My favorite job so far was a heavy lift job with a Demag CC-2800 with the super lift tray. We were lifting modules off of a highway weighing 200,000-440,000 pounds!

What is the best advice you received when you started?
The best advice I have received, so far anyways, is to never stop learning. No matter how long you’ve done it, or how many things you’ve seen. You can always learn something new. Always keep an open mind. 

What do you like most about your job?
Everyone has always been very nice, accommodating and also very respectful. You meet a lot of new and different people along the way. I also enjoy painting the crane blocks when I have time. I feel like I’m leaving my signature on each crane.

What would you say to any woman interested in this career?
I would say, do it! The sense of accomplishment you get is great and you can do it no matter what anyone else has to say about it. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add or want people to know about you?
Being a woman in construction has its challenges don’t get me wrong, and sometimes it’s not for the faint of heart. Growing up I never would have dreamed of being in construction but now I wouldn’t change it for the world. This industry has given my family a great life and I get to work with my husband and best friend every day. 

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