Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association
At three years old, Arizona-native Desiree Zinger visited job sites with her carpenter father and her grandfather who owned an underground piping business.
“I think construction runs in our family. By the time I was in high school, I knew I wanted to do something in the industry,” says Desiree.
Desiree took a different approach, though.
Instead of getting into construction by way of an apprenticeship as many people do, her love of geometry and math led her down the finance path.
Desiree graduated from The University of Arizona with a finance degree and from Arizona State University with a master of business administration.
“During my graduate degree, I was taking care of my one-year old daughter and working full time at Arizona Pipe Trades Local 469 – I had a lot of energy,” she says.
Today, at 56 years young, she spends her time and energy with Bel-Aire Mechanical – a contractor specializing in pipe manufacturing, plumbing and HVAC services in commercial and industrial sectors.
Desiree’s career consists of leading business positions at Piping Industry Progress & Education Trust Fund (P.I.P.E.), The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association – Arizona (SMACNA Arizona), Metro Mechanical Inc., Johnson Controls, W.D. Manor and Climatec.
She says there’s no other accounting field she’d rather be in.
In traditional accounting one sells a widget and that’s the revenue. In construction accounting, jobs extend over a long period of time. Every job has to be looked at each month to see how much has been earned.
“I find construction accounting to be one of the most challenging types of accounting out there and I love it,” she says.
Desiree is one of only 872,000 (or 8.9 percent) women in the construction industry according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“As a woman I don’t think there are barriers to being in construction. I think the most important thing is to establish a rapport with people that lets them know you’re competent at your job. But that goes with any industry.”
Desiree recalls when she first started in the industry – over 30 years ago – there wasn’t as much focus on safety and on upgrade classes for journeymen. She sees that is now an integral part of the collaboration between unions and contractors in order to create the best skilled workforce and secure more jobs.
Bel-Aire Mechanical has been around since 1986 and Desiree says it’s because the company takes great pride in what they do. They only hire the best of the best in the industry.
And that’s why they are a SMACNA-Arizona contractor.
“The best thing about being a SMACNA-Arizona contractor is that we’re availing ourselves of a great pool of labor from SMART Local 359,” she says.
SMACNA-Arizona craftspeople go through a five -year apprenticeship program with classroom and hands-on training. They also do 8,000 hours of worksite training and take upgrade classes as journeymen after they graduate.
That, she proudly says, is one of our biggest advantages.
More information about Bel-Aire Mechanical http://belairemechanical.com/
More information about SMACNA-Arizona http://www.smacna-az.org/