Japlan "Jazz" Allen

Chicago Women in Trades

Japlan didn’t know a thing about construction careers when she saw a flyer for Chicago Women in Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program in the unemployment office in 2002, but she was an eager and fast learner. After graduating from both the Technical Opportunities and Welding programs, Japlan became an apprentice iron worker in 2003. She could not be more proud of being a Local 1 Iron Worker, her career a gift that she is eager to share with others. She now helps to lead Chicago Women in Trades and is the Vice President of CWIT’s Board of Directors, and she also helped found and serves as President of the Women’s Committee of Local 1 Ironworkers. A true embodiment of the “sisters helping sisters” philosophy, Japlan has recruited, mentored, taught and inspired hundreds of women on the difficult path to a career in the construction trades. Japlan is a parent of 7, including her oldest daughter who is now a university student benefiting from a scholarship from the union. Japlan has another passion – to help women find a first chance after coming out of incarceration. That mission is at the heart of her the organization she has founded, Sista I Got You, which is just launching its programs. A tireless volunteer in her community as well, she also served on her local school council and coaches her kids and their friends in their softball league.