Keeping people safe. It’s one of things that Shannon Drezek enjoys most about her job as an elevator mechanic for Schumacher Elevator Co.
Drezek has been with the company for less than a year, but has already made a big impression on her co-workers.
“Shannon is currently our Local president and is also part of our mentorship program for probationary apprentices,” said her colleague, Adam Lex. “Shannon is an instructor in our NEIEP apprenticeship program, teaching and credentialing students in SAIA Scaffolding, CPR and First Aid and OSHA 10.
Drezek grew up in a blue-collar family in Milwaukee and became an elevator constructor-apprentice in 2006.
“My significant other was a successful journeyman and through him I had met a woman who had been his student in their apprenticeship program who was a successful heavy equipment operator,” she said. “I envied her lifestyle of local travel, great pay and benefits for her and her family, and her overall grit and physical strength.”
Some people have a phobia of elevators, and Drezek relishes the opportunity to interact with the riding public and put any concerns they have to ease.
“I also like the diversity of the work pertaining to mechanical and electrical knowledge and incorporating code, testing and inspection practices to let people know what to expect from properly operating equipment,” she said.
Drezek has many years of experience, but despite that the biggest challenge in her job is “constantly having to explain my resume because I am a woman.”
Decision-makers — like building owners, general contractors and superintendents — “are usually looking past me for a man or to my male apprentice for validation or as an authority figure,” she added.
“It can be exhausting and time consuming, annoying and downright insulting, but then I realize it is my opportunity to educate that person and hopefully enlighten him or her.”