1 min read

Season 5, Episode 29

Insulators Local 50 trainer paving the way for more women in trades



Guest Name:

Darla Reed

Guest Website:


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International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50 Trainer Darla Reed, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss her journey to becoming a Trainer and Foreman with Local 50. Reed also discussed her difficulties as a female apprentice and how the building trades work to provide women with a better career path.

Reed began her work as a customer service employee with a few different companies during college. After completing her Associate's Degree in Equine Sciences, Reed realized she needed to find a career she enjoyed that could pay off the debt accrued from her education. She followed in the footsteps of her brother, who is a member of Local 50. Reed decided to apply for the apprenticeship program, and six months after completing the program, she became a Foreman and a Trainer with Local 50’s apprenticeship program.

As a woman in the trades, Reed needed to adapt to the job's demands while facing different challenges than her male counterparts. It wasn’t just the physical demands that made the change difficult. She discussed how she approached the attention she received as a female. Reed noted that she never felt out of place or unwelcomed in Local 50, and the trainers in the apprenticeship program created an environment for her to excel.

Increasing the number of women in the trades is a significant part of the NABTU’s national organizing initiatives. Reed discussed how the Trades Women Build Nations Conferences have fostered a sense of belonging for women in the trades. Reed then discussed the way Local 50 helped her succeed in a well-paying career, but also empowered her to let her voice be heard. Finally, she discussed her plans to help bring more women into the trades. 

Learn more about Reed’s journey by listening to the show above.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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