Heather Kurtenbach is a woman's advocate, business agent, and political juggernaut if you will. She has been in the iron worker industry for over a decade and has served as the local's political director for many years. Her contributions have been so good that she was named one of Construction Business Owner magazine's top 10 women in construction.
Kurtenbach is a self-described "woman's advocate" who is always looking to make a difference in the lives of others. She has made a career of being a role model for women in the workplace and outside of it. In addition to working for an impressive union, she has also given back to women in need through her involvement with the Trades Related Apprentice Coaching program. This program is a joint venture between the prison system in Washington state and the various construction trades unions.
The name of her association is Iron Workers Local 86, and her most recent accomplishment is being named the first female business agent in the organization.
Heather's story is actually a very complicated one, but she did find a way out. It was a good thing that she had the support of her husband.
Speaking about the 'women in construction' industry, she said that it was a tough road to travel, but she took the initiative to do the right things, and the right things to do. She took the steps to make herself more marketable, including attending the Women Build Nations conference in Chicago, where she received a standing ovation. She has also lent her support to a program that helps incarcerated women reenter society by helping them gain valuable skills and confidence. As a result, she has been able to turn her personal suffering into a thriving career.
She has credited her brother-in-law's recommendation for her participation in the Iron Workers' program for giving her a new lease on life. She has even found that her contribution to her family's well-being has led to her being a better business agent. For the most part, though, Heather has kept her life relatively private. And she's got a nice little line of credit from her husband to help her keep her head above water.
The best thing about her is that she has been able to make a difference in her community, while still putting her head and heart in her work.