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Voices of Salute: Stephanie San Paolo, National Association of Women in Construction

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The National Association of Women in Construction’s mission is to enhance the success of women in construction. Members of NAWIC’s southwest Missouri chapter are women who are actively employed in the construction industry.

Industry role
We’re building up the women of the industry by providing knowledge and ideas through networking with other members; providing construction education through seminars and monthly speakers; serving the industry through our scholarships; hosting Block Kids events; and speaking to area schools to encourage young people to join the industry.

Innovation
NAWIC strives to educate its members, and most of the local members work in administrative or accounting roles within the industry. Through the NAWIC Education Foundation, members have the opportunity to take home-study courses and become certified in different construction areas. For example, this past year, two of our members became Certified Construction Industry Technicians. This particular certification is an overview of the construction industry and its processes. By taking this test, the members become more aware of the industry as a whole instead of just their one area.

Challenges
Work is still hard to come by. We’ve seen a lot of companies close in the last two years. With that closure comes membership loss. We’ve also lost some members due to retirement. Our chapter is focusing on new membership right now. Our goal is to get our name back out into the community so the women of our industry know what NAWIC can do for them. At a time when employment is so unstable, it is more important than ever to make those connections with other people in the industry as well as provide education to make each person more employable. NAWIC can do that for its members.

2011 Accomplishments
We had a booth at the Home Builders Association’s annual Home Show where we talked to people about NAWIC. Our Block Kids competition had more than 80 kids participate. We had a team in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters bowling tournament this past year. In May, the chapter hosted our Regional Forum in Branson. The Southwest Missouri chapter is part of Region 6 that comprises seven chapters in Missouri and Kansas. NAWIC visited the Delmina Woods Youth Facility every other month this past year and members did crafts and activities with the girls there. Most recently, the chapter participated in the Making Strides against Breast Cancer 5k Walk.

2012 outlook
NAWIC is looking to positively reinforce its members through support, career opportunities and education. By enhancing the success of our members, we enhance the success of the companies and overall the construction industry as a whole. Our outlook on 2012 is that we will increase our membership and therefore increase the number of successful women in the industry.

Click here for the full Salute to Construction section of the Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2011, issue.[[In-content Ad]]

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