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In our December 2021 Women In PHCP spotlight, we invite you to meet Karly Rolls, vice president of Rolls Mechanical!
PHCPPros: What is your role in the PHCP industry?
Rolls: I am the vice president and owner of Rolls Mechanical, a commercial and industrial mechanical contracting company that specializes in HVAC, Refrigeration, Sheet Metal, Controls and Plumbing service, and new construction. I primarily focus on the day-to-day operations of our service department and the big-picture items, such as our apprenticeship programs, operation efficiency and company culture.
PHCPPros: How and why did you decide to enter a career in the PHCP industry?
Growing up, my father always talked about the refrigeration and piping projects he was working on. We would pull around to look at the refrigeration systems, and he would tell me all about them whenever we waited for my mother at the grocery stores! One summer break from school, I worked as a shop hand/maintenance apprentice and found myself intrigued with the business. I spent a few days working with a technician, now our service department manager, who showed me how challenging and rewarding the trades are. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but with an amazing support network and a labor shortage, I found myself eager to jump in and put in the hard work — and I have never looked back.
PHCPPros: What have been some of your career highlights?
Rolls: There have been many rewarding moments so far in my career. I was proud to have graduated from Mott Community College’s HVACR program and be admitted to Ferris State’s HVACR Engineering Technology and Energy Management program, which I am currently enrolled in. I am also immensely proud of starting the first Department of Labor-recognized plumbing apprenticeship in the state of Michigan. I found there was no quality training program for the plumbing trade, and we decided to become the agent of change.
PHCPPros: What are your thoughts on mentorship for women?
Rolls: I am blessed to have a support network that inspires me constantly. I am a proud member of Women in HVACR. They have a wonderful mentorship program that connects mentees with mentors across the country who have career and life expertise to share. I am lucky enough to have been connected with two mentors, Karen and Gwen, who both have educated, supported and inspired me. With limited ladies in the field, I am beyond blessed to have been introduced to two industry-leading women.
I regularly speak at trade schools to encourage young women to consider these trades as an excellent career opportunity. I try to give women opportunities to succeed within my organization and am happy with the great team I have around me so far.
PHCPPros: What do you think the PHCP industry can do to better recruit and retain women?
Rolls: I believe that everyone in the trades needs to actively promote these career opportunities to everyone they encounter. A lot of people do not understand what opportunities there are, even if they have a parent or spouse in the trades. I encourage women interested in the trades to reach out, especially to organizations like Women in HVACR or the women PHCPPros has highlighted, and connect with like tradeswomen in the field.
Do you know someone you would like to nominate for our Women In PHCP newsletter series? Email PHCPPros Digital Strategy Manager Nicole Meyer at email@example.com!
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