Female Remodeler Sees Industry's Shifting Culture

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[caption id="attachment_16661" align="alignright" width="300"] Elizabeth Gomez is the NAHB Remodeler of the Month for November.[/caption] Elizabeth Gomez, co-owner of Bridge City Contracting in Vancouver, Wash., has been passionate about building for as long as she can remember. Many of her fondest childhood memories involved woodworking projects alongside her grandfather, who would also let her tag along with him to various job sites of homes he was renovating. After further developing her design skills in college and receiving a significant amount of positive feedback to the work she did renovating her own home, Gomez and her husband decided to open their own remodeling firm. A tenacity for delivering high-quality work and the ability to adapt to an evolving industry have not only resulted in her company's growth, but also to Gomez being honored with the NAHB Remodeler of the Month award for November. As a woman in the industry, she’s noticed firsthand how much the home building industry is going through a cultural shift. "The number of job sites that are engaging women-owned firms has significantly increased," Gomez said. "Women are emerging from trade schools and apprenticeship programs that exist to create more economic and diverse opportunities in higher numbers. There is more community outreach and awareness of opportunities for women in skilled labor and specialty trades." During the initial years of running her own business, Gomez struggled to find employees who were a good fit for her company. But overtime, she’s learned three keys to hiring the right employees: "First, you need to be looking for them all the time, not just when you are in desperate need. Secondly, when we look for ideal candidates, we have learned that character is more important than the skills they possess. Skills can be taught, but attitude is forever. We can’t teach our team how to work hard, but if they work hard and they are coachable, we can teach them anything. "Third, we believe that it is important to pay people what they are worth if you want them to stick around and truly help your company." Gomez attributes much of her success and the lessons she's learned to her membership with NAHB Remodelers. "NAHB represents specific causes that can have profound effects on the success and survival of our building industry," she said. "NAHB also serves as a trend expert, educational resource, advocate and industry touchstone for all remodelers." Read Gomez’s full Q&A in Qualified Remodeler. And if you or someone you know is interested in becoming NAHB’s next Remodeler of the Month award recipient, visit nahb.org to learn more.

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