Someone You Should Know: Owner of HVAC company paving the way for female technicians

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 5:01 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - She is a boss and a technician in the heating and cooling world known as “Jackie HVACie.” Jackie Sorensen is this week’s Someone You should Know.

In a male-dominated field, Jackie Sorensen is a trailblazer for female technicians in South Dakota.

“I got started in the industry from the ground up. I went to South East Tech here in Sioux Falls, in 2010 I was the first female who graduated from the program there. Surprisingly I’m still the only one from what I understand,” said Sorensen.

Thorson Heating covers mostly residential and light commercial heating and air conditioning services in Sioux Falls.

“I’ve been in it like I said for 15 years, and still almost on a daily occurrence when I go to people’s houses I still get that reaction that they’ve never seen a female technician in the industry,” explained Sorensen.

With the company being in her family for 80 years, it is a family affair.

“Working with my dad all these years, how is it working with your dad? We get along most days,” commented Sorensen. “I purchased the company from him, so I’m actually the third generation, one hundred percent female-owned. We have a good dynamic though. We’re very honest and upfront with each other it’s a really great family dynamic that we have and I think that we bring a little bit better customer service.”

Jackie says it was a big motivator not seeing any women in the field.

“They love to show their daughters,” said Sorensen. “Everyone is excited to have me meet their daughters when I get to their house.”

“She’s very understanding,” said Alexandra Elofson, a service tech at Thorson Heating. “I have children and so that is awesome that I can get to daycare on time. She’s understanding and flexible with me and what I personally need and that’s hard to find.”

Her all-female team is in high demand.

“I get a lot of clients that request female technicians because they’re not that comfortable having a stranger man come to their home when they’re alone,” explained Sorenesen. “I think female technicians are going to be on the rise in the coming years, it’s a good niche to have.”

Jackie is inspiring women to get into the field and change the norm.

“She’s my first female boss. She’s really supportive,” expressed Elofson. “For being a female and starting off something new, every time I was starting something new she was in the background like that does sound really scary but I believe in you and I bet you can do it.”

“I love this field. It feels so empowering to be able to go out and use tools yourself. It even transfers into your home life as well,” said Sorensen.

Jackie encourages women to consider entering the technician and trade workforce.