Renee Holbrook Oral History

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Renee Holbrook Oral History


Renee Holbrook is a mechanic with the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers Local 1219 under SEIU. Holbrook was born raised in Owosso, MI and attended technical school at Universal Technical Institute in Illinois and completed a certificate program in mechanics. After she completed the technical school program Holbrook moved to southern Illinois and took as job as a mechanic at a truck stop. The birth of her second nephew brought Holbrook back to Owosso in search of employment. An aunt who was employed at the Ann Arbor Railroad encouraged Holbrook to submit an application and soon she took a temp job doing miscellaneous work, she eventually progressed to mechanical work on the locomotives. That Fall Holbrook was hired as a full time employee in the union shop of the railroad, she was the first female employee to work outside of the office for the railroad. Holbrook describes the railroad shop, the different levels of job classification, the role of the mechanics, and the work on the engine itself. At the time of the interview Holbrook was active in her union. She recalls how she became the union secretary- treasurer and describes her duties in that office and union meetings. Holbrook was informed the week prior to her oral history interview that the railroad was being sold; at the recording she still had no news on the state of her job.

Oral History Item


Raucher, Margaret; Advisory Group Members


Holbrook, Renee, 1976-

Date Recorded



Detroit, MI; 1981-2004


“Renee Holbrook Oral History,” Michigan Oral History Database, accessed July 24, 2024,

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