Women In Construction Week: Local 17 Journeyperson Details Her Sheet Metal Journey

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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Adrian Mobley of Boston, a local 17 sheet metal worker
Image courtesy of SMART via YouTube

Adrian Mobley of Boston, a local 17 sheet metal worker, took her time joining the trade. She attended college on a full soccer scholarship and worked as a nursing assistant for nine years before enrolling in the Building Pathways pre-apprenticeship program.

It was in that program that Mobley met Shamaiah Turner of Local 17, according to the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

In a video interview, Mobley described the accomplishment she feels when driving past a building she once worked on. 

“I love the welding aspect of it as well … putting the duct up, gunking, sealing, everything that comes with [sheet metal.] The camaraderie on the job … it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s different,” Mobley said. 

Mobley also mentioned how her union membership has had a significant impact on her life more broadly. She said while working for various agencies as a nonunion nursing assistant in years prior, she had not been able to build the financial stability to leave her parents’ house or secure health or dental insurance. She said joining Local 17 changed that.

“I got into the union, and I stacked: saved money, saved, saved, and now I have a two-bedroom condo and I’m loving it. So I thank the union for that,” she said.

Mobley discussed her experience as an apprentice, Tradeswomen Build Nations 2018, and more, in addition to the overall benefits of her SMART membership and her favorite aspects of sheet metal work. 

She also offered some words of wisdom for the SMART sheet metal members of the future: “If a woman approached me right now wanting to get into sheet metal, I would tell her go for it. If you see me doing it, you can do it. I saw another woman doing it, and I convinced myself I could do it.”

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