With a process engineer for a dad and a mom who ran her own welding business, it’s no surprise that Jennifer Heinze ended up working in the trades. Jennifer is an electrician with GEM Inc. and serves as a full-time, on-site project manager at a Toledo-based Fortune 500 company.

“My parents were both great inspirations to me,” says Jennifer. “My dad really encouraged my fascination with how things work and my mom taught me about hard work and perseverance as she grew and expanded her business.”

With a two-year degree in mechanical engineering, Jennifer was struggling to find the right career fit. After exploring several career paths, including becoming proficient in several welding processes, she followed the advice of a friend and joined a local union, starting out as an electrical groundsman and eventually joining Local 8 as an inside wireman.

In 2005, Jennifer joined the staff of GEM as a 5th Year Apprentice, working as an electrical journeyman and inside wireman before becoming a foreman of her own crew. In 2013 she transitioned to the customer site and eventually took over as project manager.

I perform a variety of services. I meet with clients, review projects, provide estimates, hire subcontractors, order materials, handle billing, and close jobs. I really like that no two days are ever the same.

Jennifer Heinze | GEM Inc. Electrician

Jennifer is one of a relatively small number of women who work in the construction industry. The urgent need for skilled workers is creating great job opportunities for women in the trades.

“My advice to other women interested in the trades is to not limit yourself. Don’t shy away from something new and give 110 percent every day.”