Just in case you didn’t notice it, the world’s largest 3-D printed statue was unveiled at ConExpo 2020 in Las Vegas, NV. The statue, just outside of the Silver Lot, was of a female construction worker. This marked the first time in the show’s history that a woman greeted exhibitors and attendees to the conference.
A few days into ConExpo 2020 I happened to pass by a modest booth just outside of the main entrance to Central Hall. It was the Women of Asphalt (WofA) booth. I visited briefly with Natasha Ozybko, one of the founding members. She previewed some of the WofA events at the conference such as their Genders on the Jobsite Breakfast, their Ask the Influencers Panel Discussion & Meetup with Instagram’s Most Popular Construction Minds and their Widening Your Workforce Executive Lunch Forum.
This is from the WofA website:
Women of Asphalt is a national coalition which supports women in all aspects of the asphalt industry through mentoring, education, and advocacy, and by encouraging women to seek careers in the asphalt industry.
We lead and inspire women in the asphalt industry.
To foster and promote mentoring and networking opportunities for women in asphalt
To create professional development opportunities for women in asphalt through education and training
To advocate for women in the asphalt industry
To encourage other women to join the asphalt industry
Founding members Amy Miller and Natasha Ozybko also took part in the show’s opening ceremonies as the 3-D printed statue was unveiled.
A few days later, you recall from my last blog, I was a contestant in Caterpillar’s Titan of the Trades Game Show with host Mike Rowe. There was a moment in the middle of the game that we discussed the skilled trades and some of the issues involved in getting younger people interested in pursuing a skilled trade. Looking back, I regret not mentioning the need to get more women interested in careers in the construction industry. Women are needed everywhere from job sites to the executive offices.
Wirtgen America Inc. understands that need as it became WofA’s exclusive 2020 Diamond Partner.
Jim McEvoy, president of Wirtgen America said, “Workforce development is a top priority for Wirtgen America. Our partnerships with universities, technical schools, and associations have given us access to what has proven to be an effective and organic workforce. Bringing that same awareness of our industry via Women of Asphalt aligns very well with our efforts. There is something in our industry for everyone.”
Amy Miller, WofA board president (and also the national director of the Asphalt Pavement Alliance) added, "WofA is grateful for Wirtgen America’s generosity, which will allow us to further our mission. WofA is proud to partner with Wirtgen America in fulfilling our mutual goals of improving the asphalt industry."