To wrap up NAHB Professional Women in Building (PWB) Week 2022, two local PWB councils shared stories that highlight the impact they’re making in their communities. Their work shines a spotlight on the association, its mission to protect the American dream of housing opportunity for all, and the positive influence of the residential construction industry.
PWB Members of the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) held a “duck race” to raise money to purchase supplies to be able to host STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects with students in their local area. The colorful plastic ducks were numbered so each participant could cheer for their duck as it “swam” around a lazy river in a local neighborhood. The event raised more than $2,100 from the sponsored ducks and donated raffle items. The children enjoyed the race, pizza and balloon animals while the community got to interact with members of the home builders association.
In 2022, the NEFBA PWB council has sponsored STEM projects with a local Boys & Girls Club to introduce the children to engineering. The local’s past PWB Chair Jackie Rowland, owner of engineering firm Russell Rowland, led lessons about engineering and guided a project that involved building a bridge out of popsicle sticks. Engineering skills were tested by seeing how much weight the bridges could hold. NEFBA PWB has planned two more STEM projects with the club this year.
The projects tie in with NAHB’s most recent workforce development effort, a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that promotes construction career pathways by connecting young people with industry professionals.
The brand new PWB Council at the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast (HBACC) in San Luis Obispo, Calif., was officially chartered at the June 2022 NAHB PWB Board meeting, but some members of the group have been actively preparing for its first event for nearly two years.
Lindy Hatcher, executive director at HBACC, and Stacy Kolegraff, an assistant professor in the construction management department at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) as well as an NAHB Student Chapter lead, waited out COVID in order to hold the inaugural Girls Build Summer Academy, a hands-on camp for high school girls to learn about the many opportunities available in construction.
With the aid of a National Housing Endowment HELP grant, along with donations from Cal Poly’s Construction Management Advisory Council and donated lunches from volunteers, the 10 registrants learned to use power tools and the basics of welding, electrical wiring, and mixing and pouring cement. They framed a wall, learned about new technologies, such as flying a drone for insurance photos, and completed a community service project building two park benches for an area botanical garden. The participants will be invited back to “level up” their training next year along with helping to lead next year’s participants.
Attendees enjoyed a career discussion day that featured a wide range of guest speakers, including home builders, construction management agents, subcontractors from the electrical trades, carpenters, students and alumni.
Several HBACC PWB members, including PWB council co-chair Patrice Quishenberry, along with Cal Poly’s Michelle Chariton and Scott Kelting and Cal Poly alum Lauren Janowsky were all instrumental in the launch of the program. And current Cal Poly students Mason Heinse, Ashley Isla, Claire Gress and Itzell Ruiz worked on the development of the camp as their senior project.
PWB Week 2022 is also capitalizing on the social media trend, they “understood the assignment,” which praises a person or group who goes above and beyond. PWB Members are asked to download the NAHB PWB Week branded PowerPoint slide, highlight their council’s top activities during the past year, and post on their social media platforms all day on Sept. 16. Remember to use the hashtags #PWBWeek and #PWBProud.
We hope you will end PWB Week 2022 with a shoutout to your local council or home builder association, and celebrate the achievements of women in the residential construction industry.
Thank you again to the exclusive PWB Week sponsor Lowe’s Pro.