Renee Matosich followed her grandfather, father and two uncles into the unionized sheet metal trade, graduating from the apprenticeship program and beginning her teaching career at Local 104 in 2021. The reason? She had a good childhood because of the careers her father and grandfather had, and she wanted that life for her own family.
Originally from Modesto, California, Renee chose the testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) specialty, which exercises her mathematic and problem-solving abilities on a daily basis. It’s also a specialty that requires her to keep learning — from on-the-job experiences she is more than happy to share with apprentices in her applicant and TAB/controls classes.
She currently holds the following certifications: Duct Leakage Testing Technician, Indoor Air Quality Technician, Mechanical Acceptance Test Level 2 Technician, Testing Adjusting and Balancing Bureau (TABB) Technician and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30.
“In addition to teaching, I also work in the field full time, so by constantly learning I feel I have a lot to offer the next generation and I stay involved as the workplace evolves,” she said. “It’s rewarding to watch new members learn and apply the knowledge I share with them.”
Just as men in the sheet metal industry have encouraged their sons, grandsons and nephews to join the trade, so too should female family members be encouraged, as Renee was by her male relatives. Hard work and dedication aren’t dictated by gender roles. By the time Renee graduated from the apprenticeship, she had already secured a part-time instructor role in addition to working full time in the field.
“Women need to be aware that we can succeed in this field with hard work,” she said. “What surprised me most about the industry was how fast you can learn and earn your ranking with dedication and hard work. The highlight of my career, so far, is being able to run my own crew and provide high-quality work along with having the opportunity to spread my knowledge for future generations to come.”