March is National Women’s Month and to celebrate, this week we will be highlighting Shannon.
She’s a proud Northern Nevada Laborers Local 169 member of over 24 years
and works as a Field Safety Representative for Koch Knight LLC.
Shannon’s favorite part of her job is the people that she works with.
They are her family away from family and they can be safe while still having fun together.
What’s your name?
What union are you affiliated with and how long have you been a member?
I have been a member of Northern Nevada Laborers Local 169 since June of 1995.
Who do you work for?
I have worked for multiple companies over the years including: Frehner Construction, Granite Construction, RHB Construction, Ames Construction, JT Thorpe and Sons, SWR Refractory, Guy Nielson and as of January 2004, I work for Koch Knight LLC Acid Proof Refractory.
What made you want to join a union and what made you want to work for your company?
In 1995, I found myself as a single mother of two and needed to provide for my family. A very good friend was a part of Local 169 and convinced me to join. Best decision of my life. Over the years I’ve worked for many good companies, and in 2004 I was able to join the Koch Knight Company, after some time with them they offered me opportunities I was not able to receive from the other companies. I felt like I was apart of something special by joining that team.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job would be the people I work with. We are a family away from family. We can be safe and still have fun together. Serious when we need to be, but keeping each other laughing. We watch out for each other. We are specialists in our field and have pride in our work.
What are you most proud of at your job? What is your most significant achievement/favorite project?
I’m proud of myself, a woman in a man’s world, the many obstacles overcome, physically and mentally. Proving to myself and my coworkers that I can work right beside them and earn their respect. The feeling of accomplishment at the end of a job and all of us going home safe to our families. I would have to say that building a new Auto Clave at Kennecott Mine in Utah in 2012 has been my favorite project so far. My most significant achievement to date is believing enough in myself to pass all of my schooling and becoming a Field Safety Representative for Koch Knight LLC in 2013.
What do you want other women to know if they join the trades?
You are stronger then you know! Never be afraid of learning something new. Take pride in yourself, the company you’re working for, and our union. Many have tried and failed, men and women alike, but we are the few who will prevail. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t. Because you can! A sense of humor can be the best medicine.
What do you like to do outside of work?
With my down time in between jobs, my husband of 22 years and I have a small cattle ranch outside Elko, Nevada that our sons help run. We love fishing and boating, four-wheeling in the hills, and spending time with our sons and their families. Calving season is our favorite time of the year.