At the Brooklyn, New York-based Gentlemen Sheet Metal, second-year apprentice Tiffany Crawford is a standout on the shop floor. Not only is she a woman in a painfully male dominated industry, her fiery work ethic is quickly positioning her to be a formidable force in ductwork fabrication.   

“She is a quality apprentice,” says shop owner Paul Appel, “and she wants to work. My mechanics in the field request her if they need someone in the field to cover a job.”

Quality of work is what first attracted 30-year-old Crawford to the sheet metal industry. After two years of college, she spent some time in Local 79 before testing into Local 28.

“I wanted to get into it because I knew it was something I was capable of doing, despite it being a male dominated field,” she says. “On a great day, everybody is just in sync, and I feel like everybody cares about the quality of work they do here.”

Upon completion of her apprenticeship, Crawford plans to focus on honing her drafting skills. As for advice to other women thinking about a career in the trades: “Go for it,” she says.

“There is definitely work to be done, and there is definitely a need for people, especially women.”