NABTU announces monthly tradeswomen awards program

FOUR TRADESWOMEN across the United States and Canada will be recognized each month by the new North America’s Building Trades Unions’ Tradeswomen Heroes Awards Program. These are October’s winners. – NABTU screenshot

North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) have introduced a new awards program recognizing four tradeswomen each month who lead by example and perform their duties at an outstanding level.

The Tradeswomen Heroes Awards program honors two apprentices and two journey-level workers in the United States and Canada that set an exemplary example both on and off the jobsite.

NABTU announced the program during last month’s virtual Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference and celebrated October’s winners, which included:

  • Jenna Wittner, an apprentice with Ironworkers Local 512 in Minnesota.
  • Lorraine Mata, an apprentice with UA Local 467 in California.
  • Kilah Engelke, a journeywoman with OPCMIA Local 599 in Wisconsin.
  • Liliana Calderon, a journeywoman with Bricklayers Local 21 in Illinois.

“These Tradeswomen Heroes are exemplary building trades’ members and represent our affiliate unions to the highest degree,” said NABTU President Sean McGarvey. “They are role models and trailblazers and reflect what we love and honor about our workforce.”

The award was created in a joint effort between NABTU’s Tradeswomen’s Committee and Apprenticeship and Training Committee to congratulate and spotlight the dedicated tradeswomen within NABTU’s affiliate unions.

“We are excited to spotlight phenomenal tradeswomen within our unions,” said Vicki O’Leary, NABTU Tradeswomen Committee chair. “For decades, our tradeswomen have persevered through all kinds of adversity and triumphed on all levels, and we are proud to launch an awards program dedicated to honoring these women and their accomplishments.”

Tom Kriger, NABTU’s director of research and education, said: “It’s great that NABTU is honoring our Tradeswomen Heroes each month. We need more women in the Trades and the trailblazing women honored here to provide great examples of the career pathways available to young women from across the U.S. and from all walks of life.”

Tradeswomen Heroes nominations are made by members of the following NABTU groups/committees: Governing Board of Presidents, Tradeswomen’s Committee, Apprenticeship and Training Committee, Communications Committee, State, Provincial and Local Council Leaders and business managers from NABTU international affiliates.

Nominations are then reviewed, and winners are chosen by the Tradeswomen Heroes Sub-Committee, made up of five members – three from NABTU’s Tradeswomen’s Committee and two from NABTU’s Apprenticeship and Training Committee.

To learn more about program, visit


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