As the first female to be named executive director of the Building Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin, Jac Weitzel is a pioneer in the state’s construction industry.
“My favorite part about my job is promoting apprenticeship,” Weitzel said. “My apprenticeship program changed my life, and I like getting to go to career fairs and out to schools and talking with parents, teachers and students about what a great option a union apprenticeship is.
“I especially like focusing on diversity when it comes to our recruitment, and continue to push our industry forward by being a more inclusive.”
The council, which is affiliated to the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, represents more than 6,000 building trades members who live and work in a seven-county area. Its members work on projects that generate local jobs and revenue and build partnerships and help maintain communities and infrastructure.
Weitzel said that diversity has become the most important issue in the industry in recent years.
“Our unions have been investing the most they ever have into programs, training and organizations over the past few years that specifically focus on bringing more women and minorities into the industry,” she said. “We are working on the barriers that make it difficult to enter into the construction industry like child care and maternity leave.”
Beyond her role at the council, Weitzel is a volunteer firefighter for the town of Princeton and a certified EMT. She is a founding member of both EmpowHER of South Central Wisconsin and the International IUPAT LGBTQ Committee.
She is also heavily involved in the Take a Kid Fishing Days that are put on by the council every June.
“Jac is a mentor every day to all,” said Jennipher Neduzak, communications director at IUPAT DC7 Painters and Allied Trades.