At the 25th Annual Women in Trades Fair May 20, Oregon Tradeswomen Inc. co-founder Connie Ashbrook embraces her successor as director, Kelly Kupcak. Ashbrook, Oregon’s first female journeyman elevator mechanic, helped found the group in 1989 to help other women get into the trades.

New leader at Oregon Tradeswomen

Oregon Tradeswomen Inc. (OTI) has named a new executive director — Kelly Kupcak. She succeeds Connie Ashbrook, who has led the group since she helped found it in 1989. Kupcak currently works as director of technical assistance at Chicago Women in Trades. At Chicago Women in Trades, Kupcak managed a 10-state multi-year initiative and a national U.S. Department of Labor contract to improve outcomes for women in nontraditional sectors through technical assistance to employers, registered apprenticeship programs,   and government agencies. Ashbrook will continue to be involved with OTI as an advisor. Kupcak will start at OTI July 10, 2017.

Barbara Byrd retires from University of Oregon LERC

Barbara Byrd

After 22 years, labor educator Barbara Byrd is retiring from the University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center (LERC), which she currently serves as Portland Center Coordinator. Byrd will continue on in her part-time position as secretary-treasurer of the Oregon AFL-CIO. Her term at the state labor federation runs through October 2019.

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