Home

About the MRLF

Community Services

Photo Gallery

Labor Review newspaper

Labor Review Archive Project

Calendar

Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

Promote Your Page Too


 


 

WOMEN BUILDING SUCCESS
New awards honor women workers in the local building trades

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 23, 2018

A full house packed the room at Surly Brewing’s Minneapolis brewery or the Women Building Success awards night.
Surly built the facility under a Project Labor Agreement with the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council.

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — The first-ever “Women Building Success” awards drew a standing-room-only crowd to Surly Brewing in Minneapolis March 7, all to recognize outstanding women workers in the local building trades.

The event came in the middle of “Women in Construction Week,” which highlighted the opportunities — and challenges — for women entering or working in the building and construction trades, long dominated by men.

“While we acknowledge the challenges for women in our industry, we just really wanted to have an event to celebrate the successes that we have,” said Jenny Winkelaar, director of public relations for the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council.

Winkelaar and Josie Bautrin from the Minneapolis Building Trades Council helped to organize the March 7 event, along with Jennifer Gaspersich from IBEW Local 292, Jody Paulson from the Bricklayers JATC, Terri Stave from the Elevator Constructors, Barb Pecks from the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, and Katie LaPlant from Carpenters Local 322.

Winkelaar said the event drew an “overwhelmingly positive” response. “We put it out for sponsorships within the building trades unions and we sold out within four days,” she said.

The call for nominations for awards to be presented drew several dozen nominees.

The winners for “Apprentice of the Year” were Grace Bauman, member of Iron Workers Local 512 and Kee Brown, member of Operating Engineers Local 49.

Carrie Robles, member of Laborers Local 563, was named “Journey Worker of the Year”

Whitney Hunter, member of IBEW Local 292, was named “Women’s Advocate of the Year.”

Each woman’s story, shared with the audience of about 200, told of a personal drive to learn new skills in their chosen trade and their success in creating a better life for themselves and their families.

The audience included both women and men from the building trades.

“One of the nicest parts was it really generated good will between the  union sisters and brothers,” Winkelaar noted. “Women said the guys at their table really applauded, not just half-heartedly.”

Winkelaar said women told her, “we didn’t realize how proud they were of us and how supportive they are.”

Winkelaar said the “Women Building Success” awards night will be back next year — bigger and better.

“It’s an idea I’ve been pushing for a few years,” Winkelaar added.

“We’ve been tasked with increasing female participation [in the building trades] from 6 percent to 20 percent,” Winkelaar noted. “Events like this that illustrate the success of women in the trades are really important.”

The Carpenters’ Barb Pecks, who emceed the evening along with the Elevator Constructors’ Terri Stave, told the women in the audience: “When you’re involved, things happen. If you want to have a better environment at work, start stepping up… There are leadership opportunities out there for each and every one of you.”

 

Grace Bauman Kee Brown

Photo above: Grace Bauman, member of Iron Workers Local
512, was one of two women named “Apprentice of the Year” from among 19 nominees.

 

Photo above: Kee Brown, crane operator and member of Operating Engineers Local 49, also was named “Apprentice of the Year.”

 

Carrie Robles Whitney Hunter
Photo above: Carrie Robles, member of Laborers Local 563, was named “Journey Worker of the Year” from among 16 nominees. Photo above: Whitney Hunter, member of IBEW Local 292, was named “Women’s Advocate of the Year” from among 12 nominees.



Home Who We Are News Gallery Take Action Calendar
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
312 Central Ave., Suite 542, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: 612-379-4206 Fax: 612-379-1307
Have feedback or questions about this site? Contact the webmaster.