Blog About Plumbing and Beyond 



Jill Shippy


We found Judaline Cassidy through one of our social media sites.  She is a journeyman plumber with the UA Plumbers Local 1 in New York.  She is not only a plumber but an advocate for girls and young women thinking about the trades.  Judaline has started a non-profit called Tools and Tiaras.  At Tools and Tiaras they believe that girls can do anything and everything and their goal is to help girls learn about the trades by exposing, inspiring, and mentoring them.

We wanted to know more, so we contacted Judaline.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am a mom, sister, friend and an awesome plumber. I came to the US from Trinidad & Tobago in 1989.

How did you decide to become a plumber? How long have you been a licensed journeyman plumber?

Growing up In Trinidad & Tobago I never envisioned myself as a plumber. I wanted to be Wonder Woman or a lawyer. I was unable to go to University because my great grandmother, who was my custodian passed away, the trades was the next best free option so I took advantage of the opportunity. My process of elimination of trades was simple in my mind, Electrical = shock; Plumbing = wet. So plumbing here I come!

Is there someone who inspired you in the industry?  That helped you through your apprenticeship / mentored you?

Yes. There were so many that mentored me and taught me my craft. One in particular that stands out is Brian Totora.  He helped me get into the union and he taught me what it was to be a good plumber, hardworking, kind, and not to take crap from anyone.

Where did you take your apprenticeship training?  

I began my plumbing apprenticeship in Plumbers Local Union 371, Staten Island New York in 1996. I completed my five year apprenticeship at Plumbers Local Union 1. UA Local 1 is the merger of four New York plumbers locals.

What do you like most about being a plumber?

I love everything about being a plumber especially the paycheck on pay day. Being a plumber brings a sense of pride and accomplishment. Not many people do what I do, especially women. It’s my super power.

Tell us how you decided to start your Tools & Tiaras program?  

I decided to start Tools & Tiaras so I can bring about change in the construction industry like coding is doing for girls. Why not put tools in their hands on encourage them to be fearless builders.

What kind of activities do you have for young girls on an ongoing basis?  How many other volunteers like yourself do you have working with you on this program?

To date we have two main programs – Our monthly workshops for girls and young women and our very first summer camp this summer. Currently we have ten plus volunteers, all amazing and gifted tradeswomen. Here’s a link to find out more about the program offered

Tell us about the upcoming day camp in July.  What do you hope to accomplish?  What kinds of activities are planned?  How many girls do you expect will sign up for camp?

Many of the skilled trades will be featured – plumbing, carpentry, sheet metal, electrical and architecture, where the girls will get to work hands-on with other tradeswomen. There will be three weeks of summer camp is for girls 6-19, with each of the three weeks dedicated to specific age groups. The goal of camp is to expose girls to other possibilities for a career and empower them with moxie and tenacity to accomplish anything they want. Believe me nothing does that like working with tools, I’m living proof of that. Our target is to have sixty girls attend. 

To find out more about Judaline and Tools & Tiaras, visit their website at

Also take a look at her interview with Megyn Kelly

Questions?  Email me at


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