Jean Hurt Taylor’s father taught her that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
For Hurt Taylor, that included pursuing a career in the construction industry.
Hurt Taylor is a journeywoman wireman at Hurt Electric Inc., a company operated by her father, Henry Hurt. Henry served as a mentor to his daughter but never pushed her to follow in his footsteps.
With 15 years in the industry, Hurt Taylor has witnessed many changes firsthand.
“When I started it was mostly white males and, while I had the privilege of being with one other woman, I saw very few people of color,” she said. “Now I have a crew of women with me, and we are all mothers and women of color. I have students who are women. I have co-workers who are men of color. It’s great to be a part of change.”
Hurt Taylor said the main reason she initially decided to get to into the industry was to make a better living.
“I went from making $6.25 at a coffee shop, to $8.50 at a dinner prep kitchen, to having the opportunity to make $11.56 right off the table.”
Hurt Taylor also believes in giving back. She is a member of Local 494’s Sister’s Committee and took part in the Fight for Air Climb last April at American Family Field.
“Jean is energetic and often takes time to mentor young apprentices,” said Michele Robinson of Roman Electric. “Once she took off work to find a young woman on the verge of leaving her apprenticeship to reach out to her and speak with her. That young woman has now topped out.”
Hurt Taylor said her favorite part of her job is the sense it gives her of being needed to continue a particular job.
“I’m valued as a trade person,” she said.