Krystal Kaufmann is a Rockford, Ill., Local 32 third-year apprentice, and hopes to complete her apprenticeship program in December, 2023. The daughter of a coal miner, she always enjoyed working with her hands. She pursued a career as a dental hygienist but quickly realized she wanted to do more than just an office job. Krystal is a product of Chicago Women in Trades, a skilled trades incubator for women who want to work with their hands and earn a good living, and that provides equal access to information, training, and employment opportunities in the industry.

Krystal had her choice of trades she wanted to join. She believed LiUNA was the best choice due to the diversity in the types of work laborers perform. Krystal was looking for a challenge and she got it. Krystal’s husband is a Union Operator and is more than supportive. They enjoy early mornings and packing their lunches every night in preparation for the workday ahead.

The North American Building Trades Unions are sponsoring the largest gathering of tradeswomen in the world December 1-3 in Washington, D.C. – the Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference. Krystal will be there, representing the Great Plains Laborers District Council and LiUNA Local 32. Jake Castanza, Field Representative for LiUNA Local 32, said “Krystal is exactly what our union needs. Her getting up and going to work every day with a smile is empowering. Krystal’s successes are a beacon of hope to what we can all be.”

Krystal is looking forward to networking with the other LiUNA sisters. “Sometimes being the only woman on a construction site can be challenging, and I want to develop as a mentor for young women coming into our local,” said Krystal. “I am eager to attend the leadership and mentorship classes I have signed up for during the conference.”

Krystal believes that LiUNA Local 32 has been great for her and hopes this conference will give her the tools to give back to her brothers and sisters in Rockford.