Wes Norheim was born on October 5, 1940, in Tubroise, Saskatchewan and raised in the hamlet White Bear. At the age of 18, he began working as a kiln operator, with Western Clay in Regina and became involved in his union local of the United Glass and Ceramic Workers of America, holding the offices of vice-president and president. In 1964, at the age of 23, Norheim was hired by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), as a general representative and in the 1970s became CLC regional director for the prairies and the Northwest Territories. Norheim served as a labour representative on two Workers' Compensation Board committees of review and was a labour representative on the minimum wage board. In 1993, he was appointed the labour representative on the Workers' Compensation Board, retiring from this position in 1998. He was the first labour member to sit on the SaskPower board of directors, as the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour nominee. Norheim was a long-time activist in the peace movement and has served as an executive member of the Regina Community Clinic. In retirement, Norheim worked to build a senior's organization for union retirees. In 2002 he became the first president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Union Retirees.