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Realizing A Pipe Dream

March 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Highlights

Realizing A Pipe Dream

While employed in the maintenance department at what was then the black-owned Fitzgerald Hotel & Casino, Evelyn Renee Pacheco earned a reputation as a master fixer — known for her ability to fix anything broken on the property.

One day, a co-worker encouraged her to consider joining the union, because her husband was a member and she believed union stature would help Pacheco advance and accelerate her career. “She said, ‘You are already doing the work of a journeyman and should join the union.’ Initially, I thought it was an impossibility,” said Pacheco. But I got up the courage and took the test — and passed it.”

She added: “I joined Local 525 for Plumbers, Pipefitters and Service Technicians… in 2002, and as far as I know I was the first African-American female. I don’t think there has been one before or after me who has passed the test to receive a plumber’s license. I [believe I] am the first African-American woman in Nevada to receive a license.”

Pacheco acknowledges that making history was not easy. “Many have questioned why — in this day and age — I was the first,” she said. “I answer them by saying we need more community outreach to African American females about the union’s apprentice program. I feel if more knew about the opportunities, more African American ladies would consider the profession.”

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