WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – March is Women’s History Month, which celebrates the vital role of women in American history. It is normal for Women in Construction Week (WIC) to take place during the first full week of March each year.
The local Wilmington Cape Fear chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) was just formed over the summer, and the group will celebrate its first WIC week March 6-12.
WIC week chair Taylor King said all events are open to everyone and the more people involved the better.
“I think it’s important to educate everyone, especially young women like high school, college,” King said of educating the public about all industry opportunities. “There are so many opportunities for women to get involved in building – no matter which way they feel drawn – whether it’s interior design or wanting to get their hands dirty and be a chef. project really on site, walking on construction sites with the trades. ”
The whole point of WIC week is to celebrate women in construction, of course, but also to encourage more women to take the bold step of venturing into the industry.
It’s the one that’s mostly filled with men. While women represent a huge potential workforce, they only make up about 11% of the construction industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the industry is full of opportunities, from tradeswomen and project managers to administrative positions and business ownership.
King owns his own company called Seaside Punch List. They basically walk in and put the finishing touches on new construction. She says she is surrounded by women daily.
“Some of them are in HVAC, some of them own painting companies, some of them own plumbing companies, some of them own insurance companies, which in turn touches all the trades that come into these homes,” King said. “Interior design – new construction needs it – an architect, the actual builder, I mean go get your general contractor license – there are so many opportunities.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is one of the fastest growing industries with an expected growth rate of 10%. It is expected to create 400,000 new jobs between 2020 and 2030.
The demand for labor exceeds the supply, so there is currently a labor shortage. As the construction industry seeks solutions to its growing labor shortage issues, recruiting women appears to be the most viable answer, especially here in the booming Cape Fear region.
“We’re building so quickly than what we had before as a labor pool – we need that to triple,” King said. “Building doesn’t seem to stop at the moment between multi-family and single-family homes and just commercial spaces – it’s crazy, so, yes, we are actively looking for more people.”
The national theme for this year’s WIC week is “Envisioning Equity,” which aims to raise awareness of the wide range of roles women can play in the industry, according to the National Association of Women in Construction website.
These jobs and opportunities also have great earning potential, according to King.
“Starting point, like any other job, you can start around $40,000 and then work your way up to six figures. You can go to school for six years and barely earn six figures and have that much student debt to pay off,” she said. “If you go to trade school and you can get started, you don’t have as much student debt and you can quickly start moving up your career.”
WIC week kicks off on March 6 when a billboard will be posted with all of the week’s sponsors. On Monday, NAWIC’s Wilmington Cape Fear Chapter will tour local businesses and hang posters to spread the word.
On Tuesday there will be a panel discussion hosted by the Wilmington Business Journal that will feature eight local women entrepreneurs from the industry. This will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Parlor room of the Aloft Wilmington at the Coastline Center. A social network will follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at aView Rooftop Bistro. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo will be on hand to sign the group’s proclamation at 5:30 p.m.
On Wednesday there will be a food drive at The Brewer’s Kettle in conjunction with Poor Piggy’s Food Truck. This takes place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
On Friday, NAWIC Cape Fear will host an appreciation dinner and fundraiser at Aloft Wilmington at the Coastline Center. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the Cape Fear Community College Scholarship for Emerging Women in Construction. The event is open to the public, but you must purchase a ticket to attend.
On Saturday, the group will volunteer at the Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry.
Click on this link to register for the Friday dinner and find out more details about all the WIC Week events.
Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.