Laura Biggie is a senior plumbing inspector and training officer at the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. She teaches both residential and commercial inspectors all aspects of plumbing code and inspection practices. Biggie began her career in the plumbing apprenticeship program 17 years ago, becoming a journeyman plumber, pipefitter, certified brazer and medical gas installer. Additionally, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the National Labor College in 2011 and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Science of Leadership Management at the University of La Verne.
Biggie worked her way out of the trenches — literally — with her start nearly two decades ago during a rainy El Niño year, mucking mud out of ditches. (When it wasn’t raining, she had the opportunity to go to work as a first-year apprentice.) Education and dedication to the industry is what helped her rise up through the ranks, which is the sentiment she conveys to the apprenticeship class she teaches once a week at the same training program she attended for Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 761 Burbank, Calif.
Biggie comes with prior board experience, having served as board president for Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER) in 2000. WINTER is a non-profit whose mission is to reduce the wage-equity gap and help prepare disadvantaged women to begin a career in the skilled trades by conducting pre-apprenticeship training at Habitat for Humanity jobsites. At that time she spoke at a national conference for welfare at Georgetown University, urging social workers to encourage women to enter high-wage, high-skill careers traditionally dominated by men to help single mothers become breadwinners for their families without the need for public assistance.
Biggie’s engaging spirit and passion for the plumbing industry has made her plumbing classes extremely popular. Her experience in the trades and education at UCLA Extension led her to work as a project engineer for several general contractors, as well as a project estimator for a design build contractor before becoming a commercial plumbing inspector with the city of Los Angeles. She is now the plumbing training officer for the Los Angeles’ more than 200 residential inspectors, commercial plumbing inspectors and mechanical plan check engineers. Her involvement and dedication to the industry is well served by a fast paced and always complicated jurisdiction such as Los Angeles.
Biggie serves on the IAPMO Education and Training Committee and has served on the Answers and Analysis, as well as the Publications committees in the past. Laura is chapter secretary for the UPPA of Long Beach IAPMO chapter and is the chairman for the Los Angeles Chapter of IAPMO.
Biggie has been a long time advocate for animals and animal rescue organizations. She resides in Los Angeles with her two cats, Nella and Jellybean.