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Allison New

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Local Union 441 Pipe-fitter/Welder

Topeka, Kansas

United States

Three words that describe you?

Determined, tough, calm

Who are your role models and mentors?

My family, my union brothers and sisters, my previous teachers from tech and union school

What is your favorite thing about your current job?

As a pipe-fitter and welder I absolutely love that I work on something different everyday and am always learning a new skill. I don't just weld everyday like I use to, so I've evolved into more knowledge about the construction world. (I also love to climb and work at heights)

What originally got you interested in your current field of work?

I took welding in high school and loved it so I did it in college. From there I had a structural steel and part iron worker job for 6 years, but I wanted more of a challenge when it came to welding. I always wanted to weld pipe since it's not easy to do. I joined the local pipe-fitters 441 union.

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

Don't be so nervous when starting out because everyone else is there to learn too, and also don't take no sh*t from them boys haha. You have to be mentally tough in the blue collar world.

When you started your current job, what most surprised you?

How much more there was to pipe-fitting than just welding, and how many different forms of pipe work there is besides just welding! (PVC, copper, threaded, and the list goes on) I was also just structural so I had no idea. Also how hot some of the areas I work in are, it can be miserable 🥵

Do you have an embarrassing or funny story you can share about work or something that has happened at work?

Wow. There is probably too many to count honestly lol. That's the beauty of the blue collar world is that you don't always have to be office appropriate and can do some pretty funny stuff. One funny time was my boss said the pipe at work was empty at this dog food plant. I cut it open and ended up being covered in some very stinky stuff.


Have you had to deal with conflict or confrontation while at work? How did you handle it?

Sometimes but not too often. I learned as a female you HAVE to be mentally tough. I've gotten pretty good at talking crap back so I don't have much of a problem lol. If my we argue we're over it by the next day usually.

Do you have any suggestions on how to encourage more women to try a career in the trades?

Push trade schools more to women as much as they do for men! Growing up I never heard about or was told about it when I was in school, and I really wish they would of.

Who has had the biggest impact on your career choice?

Honestly not a single person, I have made all my decisions on my own and on my own interests! I'm very independent

What does your family think of your career?

I love this question lol. My whole family works in the medical field and they are always worrying about me haha. They are very interested in what I do though and are so so proud of me and my accomplishments all these 11 years in the trades.

If you could do anything, besides what you're doing now, what would you do?

I really don't know lol, the construction world is all I've known for 11 years. I am actually pretty good at special effects and Halloween makeup! So I would definitely enjoy doing that.

What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

A meteorologist or something with astronomy

What type of role do you want to take on after this one?

After this year I will be a journeyman pipe-fitter and welder, so I'm excited to take on the role of teacher other apprentices. Also would love to mentor girls who want to get into the trade.

What do you remember most about your first job?

Oh man my first just was terrible lol. My boss was always drinking and not friendly. It was welding and repairing trailer and truck beds. Also big sand beast tanks for the oil field. There was no safety at all and no ventilation, but i learned to be tough there and I'm thankful for it. 

How old were you when you started working?

Started welding at 18, I am now 29.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

Definitely my first job.

What are people always surprised to discover about you?

That I'm a lot stronger than I look and carry some pretty heavy material. 

Who is your favorite person in the world?

My parents, they're my best friends

What is the craziest thing you hope to do one day? 

If I ever get the guts to do it I think it would be cool to be a travelling union welder/pipe-fitter.

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