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Salute to Construction: National Association of Women in Construction

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The core purpose of the National Association of Women in Construction is to enhance the success of women in the construction industry. Membership ranges between 30 and 35 women a year, and membership is open to any woman. Active members are required to work within the construction industry, but associate members not working primarily in the industry can join without the benefit of voting rights. NAWIC also has student memberships available for women studying construction.

Each year, NAWIC’s Southwest Missouri Chapter No. 366 has the opportunity to network with other chapters in the region through the Annual Planning Conference and the Regional Forum. The region has six other chapters: St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Joseph, Central Missouri and Wichita and Topeka, Kan. There is also a national convention each year that includes chapters from around the U.S. as well as chapters in Canada and South Africa, to name a few. It’s a wonderful networking opportunities for members.

With the changing economy, the contacts made through NAWIC have become extremely important. Some members have lost their jobs this past year and through NAWIC were able to make contacts to find openings at other places. The group also provides support during tough economic times.

The local chapter’s main event each year is the A-Z Seminar, open only to women and held each September. This is an all-day seminar during which the chapter brings in speakers to discuss different issues facing the construction industry. The southwest Missouri chapter hosts an annual summer bowling tournament to provide a $1,000 and $500 scholarship each year to female students working toward construction-related degrees. The chapter also hosts the annual Block Kids contest for children in the first through sixth grades to build projects using Lego blocks, string, foil and cardboard. Projects are judged by local industry professionals, and the first place winner goes on to regional competition for a chance to compete at the national level. The purpose of the contest is to encourage children at an early age to think about possible careers in construction.

NAWIC will again be presenting two awards for Outstanding Women in Construction during the Salute to Construction banquet. One is for a woman just beginning her career who has only been in the industry 10 years or less. The other is for a woman who has been in the industry for 10 years or more.

Stephanie San Paolo is the National Association of Women in Construction liaison to the Salute to Construction council. For more information, visit

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