Eager to learn, Heather Pratt dedicates herself to a successful career as a union millwright.
When the alarm clock sounds early in the morning, Heather Pratt, a member of Local 1192 starts her workday with an analytical mindset, eager to face the ever-changing challenges that come with working as a millwright.
Each day she is faced with a different task that allows her to put her skills to the test. “There are not many days where I am tasked with the same repetitive job and I really do enjoy that aspect of being a millwright,” Pratt said. “There is always something new and unexpected and I am here for those challenges.”
Clint Smith, business agent for Local 1192, said he recommended Pratt for the SSMRC Member Spotlight because he thinks her commitment to the millwright’s union will carry her far in her career. “She is motivated and eager to learn new things in our trade. She is active with Sisters in the Brotherhood and I believe she is going to excel in the millwrights for a long time,” Smith said.
Learn more about Pratt through her answers to the questions below.
Q: What do you like most about being a part of local 1192?
A: I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and currently train in Florence. It is close to home, and everyone knows each other in our small town. There is always a familiar face.
Q: What made you decide to join the union and work as a millwright?
A: I had been with a company for 10 years and had consistently been overlooked for positions that I was ready to take on. When COVID hit, I took a leave of absence to be with my family. When I returned, the employer finally offered me a higher position. I declined because it was a 2-11 p.m. position, and I would never get to see my family. I was frustrated that the company did not take my family into consideration. I knew someone in the millwrights and told them I was ready for a change, and I have not looked back since. While millwright hours can sometimes be rough on parents, it allows me to pick jobs that are the best fit for me and my family.
Q: How do you feel the apprenticeship classes are preparing you for the job and your career as a millwright?
A: Every certification I receive makes me more employable to our customers. I want to uphold the industrial standards that are forever changing, and that take endless hours of training. You must be willing to learn.
Q: What are your long-term goals working as a millwright?
A: I want to capitalize on any and all opportunities that come my way. I’m passionate about the work we do and excited to share my knowledge with others. Soon others, as well as myself, are going out to area schools to show we want diversity in the trades and that trades can be a first choice career for anyone.
Q: Has working as a millwright allowed you to stay close to home?
A: There will probably come a day where I will not be able to work close to home, but I have been blessed thus far. It started as a two-week job but if you show up and show out, they will keep you working.
In her spare time, Pratt enjoys taking family trips, refurbishing furniture, and throwing down in the kitchen. She is thankful for the special family-like bond she has developed with her brothers and sisters in the union and looks forward to enhancing her skills and career as a millwright in the nation’s largest, most highly skilled millwright workforces.