Local 63 (Western Massachusetts) journeyperson Sherry Geisler entered the union sheet metal trade later than most – a career change at age 36 brought her into the local’s apprenticeship program. Twelve years later, she’s a mentor, a licensed sheet metal instructor and the current OSHA instructor at her union hall, helping keep her fellow members safe and informed. Read more in her sister story:
What unique strengths do you bring to your trade?
Mentoring is something that I’ve always been comfortable with and excited to do. Being the longest-tenured female member of our union, I’ve gotten to work with a lot of the new sisters that join the trade. I’ve been lucky enough to help them with anything they have needed, from advice to giving tools.
What do you love to do when you are not at work?
I love to travel. Being a union member has made that a reality.
Goals in the future — any ambitions or changes to your career, growth or education?
I would like to go into jobsite safety.
What surprised you about your trade?
How strong it would make you, both physically and mentally.
What do you find frustrating about your job/trade?
Having to coordinate with other trades on the jobsite.
How did you get into SMART?
A career change later in life. I started my apprenticeship at age 36.
Tool you can’t live without?
Duck bill tongs!
Best advice you got as an apprentice?
Your name is your reputation. It can take you far.
What do you think about Tradeswomen Build Nations?
I absolutely love TWBN!!!! We have been fortunate to be sponsored by our local union to go.
Are you active in trade-related activities such as career fairs, volunteer work or SMART Army events?
I volunteered for Girls in Trades Massachusetts’ high school trade fair for two years. I’m the current OSHA instructor at my union hall, and I recently received my sheet metal instructor’s license through the state.