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Blazing the Way

(Photo Above: Tony Haller (1986–2020) worked for Cheyenne’s UA Local 192 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union and dedicated much of his career to getting more women into the trade, including Climb grad Michelle (right).)

Remembering a Champion for Women in the Workforce

When Tony Haller tragically passed away this year, Wyoming lost a fierce advocate and champion for women breaking into the plumbing and pipefitting trade.

Tony, who was a business agent and training coordinator at Cheyenne’s UA Local 192 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, was determined to find a way for employers in the construction industry to hire more women. So, five years ago, he came to Climb and proposed a unique pre-apprenticeship training opportunity.


“Climb graduates are great employees. They’ll show up very willing to learn, which is something you don’t always see.”

– Tony Haller


One of Tony’s first students was Michelle, who today is blazing her way as an accomplished welder. She has achieved Journeyman and works for Azco at Holly Frontier Refinery.

Tony left a lasting legacy for Michelle and the other women who went through these trainings with Climb. He was among the strongest advocates for hiring Climb graduates. “They’re great employees,” he often said. “They’ll show up very willing to learn, which is something you don’t always see.”

Especially during the pandemic, Climb graduates like Michelle have been able to significantly contribute to Wyoming businesses with their resilience, skills, and motivation to work in industries that bolster the state’s economy.

Employers, meanwhile, can take pride in being part of changing a family’s future. Thanks to Tony, there are single mothers paving their way in a new industry, benefiting Wyoming’s economy and their children’s lives along the way.