Sara Paiz is busy building a better world for her customers, her company, and her community, one HVAC call at a time. This driven NexTech Academy graduate knows first-hand there is great potential and a brighter future for herself and her peers – women looking to break barriers and pursue a career in the skilled trades. Her admirable support of others goes beyond advocacy as she compares her role to community activism where she makes a positive impact guiding, educating, and elevating current and future tradeswomen.

We caught up with Sara recently to learn more about her journey in becoming an HVAC technician for Nexstar Network member American Vintage Home  serving the Evanston, IL area.

Learning The Skilled Trades

A graduate of American Vintage Home’s in-house HVAC training program, Sara’s coursework included a mix of virtual learning, hands-on skills training, ride-a-longs with fellow technicians, and honing those soft skills. “I learned a lot during my 6 months of training, and I enjoyed putting into practice what we would learn in the classroom. It made retaining information easier,” Sara explained. “Now, post-graduation, I am feeling ambitious and eager to use the skills I acquired through NexTech and continue learning in the field.”

Reflecting on her training experience, Sara is grateful for her team that backed her from start to finish. “My teacher has been a great source of inspiration and support to me, as well as the rest of the team at American Vintage Home. I am the only woman technician in my workspace, which can come with its own set of challenges at times. But thankfully, I have an amazing team behind me from management to the guys at the warehouse, to dispatch, to the company’s founders, and to everyone doing the behind-the-scenes work that continuously lifts and encourages me. I am grateful for the opportunity I was given and hope to inspire others.”

Inspiration Comes Full Circle

Inspiring others comes naturally for Sara, a keen problem solver who uses her knowledge to help her customers maintain a comfortable home environment. “I’ve always had an interest in the trades,” she explained. “As a neurodivergent woman, my brain has always worked more on the technical side. Unfortunately, the trades were a lot harder to join back when I was in my late teens/early twenties.”

And, you may be thinking, who inspires Sara along her admirable journey?

“My inspiration comes from single mothers, girls, women, and from being a woman,” Sara shared. “My inspiration comes from community, and community work. To me, learning the trades and being able to teach others is a form of community activism that is needed. Women can do anything and everything, our attention to detail is unmatched.”

Indeed. Thank you, Sara, for sharing your personal story to inspire even more women to take your lead and pursue a skilled trades career!

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