Local 66 (Seattle, Wash.) sister Talaundra White is a fourth-year apprentice focused not only on learning as much as possible, but on bringing her fellow SMART brothers and sisters together in the spirit of solidarity to build a brighter future for our union. Learn more in her sister story:
What unique strengths do you bring to your trade?
I have tried to bring unity with men and women so that everyone feels comfortable working together equally. Brotherhood and sisterhood!
What do you love to do when you are not at work?
I am a mom and wife, first and foremost. I love being with my family; they are my world outside of work. We do a lot of different things, from the movies to bike rides, road trips – we are an outgoing family.
Goals in the future — any ambitions or changes to your career, growth or education?
I plan to journey out and continue to pay it forward. We shall see what the future brings.
What surprised you about your trade?
Well, there weren’t many people of color in this trade for many years. I thought I would be facing a lot of the remnants of that discrimination. There is some, but it’s phasing out also.
What do you find frustrating about your job/trade?
I go to work hungry every day, wanting to learn and absorb more. I rarely get frustrated. But being an apprentice has its ups and downs. Some journeypersons had it hard and tend to want to use the same teaching methods that they experienced.
How did you get into SMART?
I graduated from a pre-apprenticeship program. We rotated around the different trades and learned about the scope of work for each one.
Tool you can’t live without?
I think a great hammer is valuable in any trade.
Best advice you got as an apprentice?
Make yourself valuable. That advice has kept me focused and grounded. I always do extra to learn as much as possible.
What do you think about Tradeswomen Build Nations?
I had a blast – the energy was refueling.
Are you active in trade-related activities such as career fairs, volunteer work or SMART Army events?
Yes, and I’m willing to do more if available.