Liz Skidmore started her carpenter’s apprenticeship in Boston, Massachusetts 29 years ago.
After completing her apprenticeship and working in the field for 10 years, she worked for a
general contractor as an estimator and then assistant project manager, before being hired by the
Carpenters Union in 1999.
She worked for her union in a number of positions ranging from Organizer to Business Manager
of New Hampshire Local 118 to Assistant to the General President of the United Brotherhood of
Carpenters (UBC), helping set up Carpenters “Sisters in the Brotherhood” women’s committees
throughout the US and Canada. In 2014, she started a pre-apprenticeship for women in New
Hampshire, funded by WIOA. In her Local, she has held elected positions of Financial Secretary
and Delegate. She leads a Carpenters women’s committee that has met monthly for 20 years,
and was on the steering committee for three of the four UBC International Women’s
Conferences. Skidmore served on the NH State Apprenticeship Advisory Committee, and
currently serves on the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board, and on the Governor’s
Apprenticeship Advisory Group.
In 2008 she co-founded the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues (PGTI), a regional ‘think-
and-action tank,” with the goal of making change for tradeswomen at a bigger level. PGTI now
includes 75 stakeholders including tradeswomen, city, state and federal officials, building trades
unions, national construction managers, local subcontractors, academics, community groups, and
elected officials. This group has been the vehicle to build political support, break down silos of
expertise and develop know-how to increase the numbers of women in the trades in
Massachusetts, which have more than doubled since 2009 after decades of stagnation, with a
goal of 20% women by 2020, using integrated supply and demand strategies. Today, PGTI plays
a direct role in monthly meetings enforcing compliance with hiring goals on over $3.5 billion of
work in Massachusetts, thereby increasing the demand for women.
In 2015, she helped found Massachusetts Girls in Trades, which works to build a stronger
pipeline between girls in CTE schools and the union building trades apprenticeship programs,
thereby increasing the supply of women.
New England Regional Council of Carpenters