Foreman Focus Friday: Allison Adams

Mar 10, 2023 | Source: Hermanson Marketing | Foreman Focus Friday

“I enjoy being strong and being a skilled tradesperson. I was the kid that would fight to carry the milk in from the car because I wanted to do the strong part of the work. I love being a teacher and an eternal student. There is always something new to learn.”

– Allison Adams, Hermanson RTS-Trimble Foreman 

 

Allison Adams runs Hermanson’s Trimble Robotic Total Station (RTS) department. She does the layout for all the trades (plumbers, fitters, and sheet metal) with the help of a robot, lasers, triangulation, and sometimes GPS. 

“It’s really great to be on the edge of where construction is going. I like being involved in the techie side of construction,” said Allison. “I love my trade; there are so many areas to specialize in. I feel incredibly lucky to have found my niche and to be sought out for my knowledge and expertise.”

When Allison got a call that Hermanson was looking for someone experienced with RTS, one of the things that stood out to her was learning about the Women of Hermanson group.

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“Hermanson had a women’s committee and was committed to inclusion and diversity. That was a huge draw for me. Most companies have mission statements, but Hermanson has shown me that they want you to put Family First and to go home safely. As a foreman, I feel backed up by a safety culture that’s not lip service and a family-oriented culture that lets me be the type of boss I always wanted to be,” Allison shared.

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Allison got into the trades in her late 20s. Before that, she explored various careers, including being an insurance agent, a nurse’s aide, and an Art teacher. Then, one day while remodeling her house and constructing a chicken coop with YouTube’s help, she thought, “I wish I could do THIS every day.” 

She started researching a career in the trades. She quickly realized how much money she could earn while doing something she thoroughly enjoyed. From there, Allison went through ANEW, a pre-apprenticeship program with a reputation for training people to enter the construction industry. There, she learned about the different trades and decided on sheet metal because she liked the combination of math, welding, and “really hitting stuff with a hammer.”

Coming from a legacy of talented tradespeople, Allison’s father was a 6’5” union negotiator and tool and die maker for UE 506, building locomotives. Her mother was a 5’3” welder and specialized in wrought iron railings and fencing. Allison proudly shared that her mom was the first woman officer of Lodge 1211 for the Machinists Union in the 1970s. 

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“I followed in their bootsteps, as I am very involved with the Local 66. I am a night instructor, a trained mentor, and the Recruitment and Outreach Pillar Lead with the Women’s Committee. I volunteer my time going to job fairs, high schools, and pre-apprenticeship programs to tell people about the trades and help people get into a building trades union,” said Allison. “Being a part of Local 66 has dramatically changed and improved my life. I love to show people that I do this, and they can too.”  

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In 2019, Allison was named “Tradeswomxn of the Year” by The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). She earned it thanks to her work with the union, mentoring, and working with homeless families during the coronavirus outbreak.

In her free time, Allison loves roller skating and creating art. She is deep diving into watercolors and even launched a website to show off her artwork. (You can see some of her construction site art there). She has three children (ages 20, 12, and 11), along with an elderly dog and two tuxedo cats. Her oldest son earned his apprentice card for the plumbers and is working on getting into Local 32. 

Allison remains passionate about her work and optimistic about the direction of the construction industry.

 “I have been in the union since 2007, and I still totally geek out when I talk about what I do. I love the camaraderie of being on massive commercial construction sites. The culture of construction gets a bad rap because of the toxic work culture, but I have seen it change. I have seen the hard work and trust being built every day by some of the best people in the industry. The new generation of apprentices fills me with such hope and promise.”

 

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