Women in Construction
Jennifer Landon, vice president of education and workforce development at the Associated Builders and Contractors of NH/VT (ABC NH/VT), was sworn in as vice president of the Granite State Chapter of National Women in Construction (NAWIC) for the 2021-2022 term at their 46th Annual Meeting held in September.
Many women are hesitant to join the construction industry because of a lack of education, training and apprenticeship opportunities. However, this is rapidly changing as an increasing number of industry trade groups and nonprofit organizations develop attainable pathways to entry-level construction jobs.
Jes Zurell, Marketing Manager with the The H. L. Turner Group, came from a construction family with both of her parents worked in the industry. She says, "My dad was a structural engineer and my mom managed an architect's office. My current job at The H. L. Turner Group allows me to use my skills as a writer and marketer in an environment that feels like home."
Mimi Thomas loves the fast pace of the construction industry. She wears all the hats in her role as Office Administrator at NorthPoint Construction Management and has learned a lot as a result. She really enjoys the company’s strong presence in the community, especially as it relates to children. She’s proud of the support they’ve provided to The Boys and Girls Club of Nashua and Catie's Closet.
Vanessa Reven says that seeing big projects from start to finish, with the big picture always in the back of her mind, is rewarding, and exciting. “Working with Elm Grove and knowing we can take an old building and make it something that will benefit Manchester and the surrounding community is great to see and be part of.”
Like many, Elizabeth Morse, Project Manager with Lewis Builders Development, Inc., grew up with her family in construction. She said she loved driving around with her parents and touring construction sites. "Seeing the finished product was always something to look forward to. One thing that really drove me to following in my family's steps was the idea that they were all able to say, "I built something from ground up." I never really understood the statement completely, until I began working for Lewis Builders."
Karen Massone, Director of Human Resources with Fulcrum Associates, chose construction because she loves the idea of working to build something that a client will rely on for years to come. "When we work on a school or hospital, we can look back and know we played a role in ensuring access to education and healthcare for our community."
Karen Long, Senior Safety & Health Officer with Charter Contracting Company, LLC, was a hazardous materials and marine safety officer in the Army. She says, "When I got out it was a natural transition to move into the environmental and marine construction field."
As the Director of Health, Safety and Risk Management with ReArch, COVID-19 has been Holly LeClair’s responsibility. She took the position only three weeks before the stay at home orders in VT were issued. She says this has been the most rewarding, yet challenging aspect in my 25+ years in health and safety. “I have learned to pivot in a way I never dreamed I would.”
Heather Leahey, Office Manager with Fulcrum Associates, says she enjoys construction because there's still so much to learn. "Home improvement has always been of interest to me so it made sense. I have done roof repair, electrical, plumbing, painting, drywall and floor installation since owning my house 20 years ago. And, I love using power tools any opportunity I can get."