Daily Reporter Women in Construction 2023
Honors Jessica Lazo Figueroa

August 17, 2023 — The Daily Reporter honored 50 trailblazing Women in Construction during the sixth annual awards and networking event on Thursday at Discovery World in downtown Milwaukee. Jessica Lazo Figueroa from Hooper was among those recognized.

Every day, Jessica Lazo Figueroa sets a positive example for her classmates.

Figueroa is a senior at Madison East High School and a youth apprentice in sheet metal for Hooper Corp. At 17, she is the youngest participant in the apprenticeship program through the Madison Metropolitan School District, and the only woman.

“What I like most about my job is the feeling of completing a piece in the fabri­cation shop or hanging ductwork at the job site,” said Figueroa. “I get really proud of myself and being able to say, ‘I did this. I did that.’ It makes me feel happy.”

Figueroa enjoys giving back to the community and has volunteered her time with UNIDOS against Domestic Violence, providing childcare for the wom­en’s meetings. She also volunteers at the BEACON for homeless people and at Friends of the State Street Family.

She has also volunteered her time with Developing Artists, Murals and Alliances.

Figueroa has recruited other participants for various WRTP | BIG STEP programs. She always raises her hand when asked to participate in career fairs, representing her employer as well as her trade.

“This last year she was a guest speaker at her school to speak about her journey through Youth Apprenticeships and WRTP | BIG STEP’s construction training program and went on to receive the Youth Apprentice of the year from Boys and Girls Club of Dane County,” said Jac Weitzel, executive director of the Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin.

Figueroa offered some advice for her peers who are thinking about pursuing a career in the construction industry.

“It’s not going to be easy,” she said. “Some days will be challenging, but it’s im­portant that you work hard and don’t give up! Don’t listen to the stereotypes out there, focus on work and prove that women can do this type of work as well.”