Meet Leryn Nida

Detroit EITC Apprentice

“There is so much opportunity for women in this field and it’s totally available.”  Leryn Nida, Detroit EITC Apprentice speaks with us about her experiences in the trade and shares advice for women looking to get in to the Electrical Industry.  #WICWeek

  1. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE TRADE? 

I worked in the maintenance department at Lake St. Clair Metro Park about a year out of High School. Loved doing everything with my hands. My boss started giving me little jobs related to the trades, fixing things, changing light bulbs, etc. I worked at the park for 10 years and over time was given more and more responsibility in this area. 

My boss taught me, pushed me and really motivated me. He was a big influence. 

2. WHAT SHE DID BEFORE THE APPRENTICESHIP? 

I went to Macomb Community College where I was striving for my engineering degree in Applied Science. I wanted to go into Aerospace Engineering. While in college, I also took a small desk job working for a company in this field. I didn’t like it because I wasn’t doing anything really physical.  At the same time, I was in college I was also still working at the Metro Park. My sister-in-law’s dad suggested I apply for IBEW because I missed the hands on.   I applied and was called a year-and-a half later. 

3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? 

I love all the on-the-job training I get and how willing everyone is to teach. It’s like a big family atmosphere and everyone works together. I love the physical labor and I’ve made some wonderful connections. 

4. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU’VE WORKED? 

I started working in the dorms at Wayne State University, then to West Bloomfield Schools, Life Science Building in the Medical Community area at Wayne State, Detroit Diesel laying fiber and now I’m back at Wayne State working on some new dorms. 

5. WHY DO YOU FEEL ITS IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN TO CONSIDER THE TRADES? 

I want other women to know that they are just as strong as the guys in the trades, women are absolutely capable, and women do get the respect from the guys in this field. There is so much opportunity for women and it’s totally available. It gives great confidence. You just have to go for it. 

6. ADVICE YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN STARTING OR GROWING A CAREER WITH US? 

You have to want it, work hard, be yourself, be dedicated and really care about what you’re doing and do a good job when you are working. 

7. WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT YOU? 

It was hard after high school to find a good pathway to success.  I worked very hard at the park but made minimal money and there were times I did not eat because I had bills to pay. One day my Dad sat me down and gave me the Father / Daughter talk that lit the spark to get me going, motivated and strive to be a better person and go for it. And here I am today!

Celebrating Women in Construction