Growing up on a farm with seven siblings, Jenny Reinhart learned about hard work and perseverance from a young age. As a general laborer with Rudolph Libbe Inc. for more than 25 years, the strong work ethic her parents instilled in her has served her well.
When Jenny first started thinking about a job in construction, it was a lot harder for women to break through the stereotype that women belong in an office somewhere or at home with kids. “At the time, I was working as a hairdresser for low pay, crappy hours, and no retirement plan,” says Jenny. “My Dad and three of my brothers worked in the trades and encouraged me to look into construction site work.”
“Because they didn’t hire many women back in 1993, I had to go to the union hall regularly and be very persistent. Eventually I wore them down and they gave me a chance,” says Jenny. Now a member of Local 500, an affiliate of LIUNA—the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Jenny considers herself very lucky to be working in construction.
One of my first jobs with RLI was at General Mills where I worked as a general laborer for 17 years. It was mostly indoors and the work was consistent without a lot of extra hours or downtime. I was able to support myself and my family.Jenny Reinhart | RLI General Laborer
As a general laborer, Jenny is responsible for physical work, moving heavy items and using equipment when needed. The day-to-day duties of a general laborer vary based on the setting, but can include construction site preparation and cleanup, organization and moving of building materials, putting together or taking down scaffolding and barricades, and countless other tasks. Currently, Jenny is finishing work at the new Mercy Health facility in Perrysburg, Ohio constructed by RLI.
Jenny feels fortunate to have worked for RLI as long as she has. “I have worked with some great people who treat me well and who have provided me with many opportunities. If women ask me about working in construction, I tell them what a great career it has been for me.”
“Along with a strong work ethic, women in particular can’t be afraid to ask questions or stand up for themselves when necessary. If women ask me about working in construction, I tell them what a great career it has been for me.”