Whenever there’s a need at work, Stacy Harris is the first person to raise her hand.
Harris, a journeywoman painter with Hess Sweitzer Painting in Hartland, has been a great mentor to her apprentices and fellow journeyworkers, colleagues say. She is easy to talk to and always willing to pass on her knowledge.
“I have personally witnessed a female apprentice from another trade approach Stacy at a career fair to thank her for helping her with a situation on a job site,” said Jennipher Neduzak, director of communications for IUPAT DC7. “She is the type of person who will give their shirt off their back for someone in need.”
Harris is a trustee for her local, a delegate to IUPAT DC7, an active member of her women’s committee, and has signed up to be a mentor for empowHER’s statewide mentorship program.
One of the biggest challenges in her work is, as she puts it, “being a girl.”
“Some of the other trades look at you like, “You’re a girl. Why are you here?”
Harris grew up doing skilled trades jobs like painting, so when it was time to choose a career, the decision was an easy one.
“I somewhat had the background for it,” she said. “I was scared at first, but I had a good mentor that helped me. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard at first because it was. I didn’t think I’d be working with men, and with my background I didn’t think men painted. It was always the women’s job to paint where I grew up.”
Outside of work, Harris enjoys getting involved in her community and has helped spearhead a clothing drive for women’s shelters in Milwaukee and Madison.
“Stacy also uses her passion for photography and gives back to her union and others by taking pictures at events at no charge,” Neduzak said.