Empirehouse Women in ConstructionPosted on March 5, 2018, by Jennifer Klitzke
It’s National Women in Construction Week.
A few of the hard-working women at Empirehouse include our CEO, Logistics Coordinator, Purchasing Agent, as well as Glaziers, Fabricators, Project Assistants, Estimators, and more.
Here’s what some of our women employees have to say about working in construction at Empirehouse:
Jean Fields made a career change from Accountant to Apprentice Glazier. Since she’s been an Apprentice, one of her best accomplishments was becoming the first certified woman welder with her Local 1324 Union. When asked what she likes most about working as an Apprentice Glazier at Empirehouse, Jean says, “I love the variety of working in the field. Every day is a surprise! It’s like family here.” Jean is pictured working with another woman in construction at the Target Center renovation project. Jean said, “Working on Target Center was a huge accomplishment.”
Maria Evans didn’t consider working in construction until she was presented with the opportunity to become an Empirehouse Driver and ID Worker. Every day she is grateful to work with incredible women in construction and to challenge herself with learning something new, like driving a fork lift, backing a trailer, caulking a frame, lifting heavy glass, putting in pressure bar at the Mall of America, or prepping break metal at Marshfield. “I am most grateful for working in the presence of women who build each other up, support and encourage each other, teach and learn from each other and embrace each other’s strengths,” says Maria. She describes the women in construction at Empirehouse as real, strong, resilient, smart, tough, fun and beautiful. “Women I hope my daughter grows up to be like someday.”
Rachel Yechout came to Empirehouse with ten years of Project Assistant experience. “Being a woman in construction and working for Empirehouse is amazing!” said Rachel. “Empirehouse provides so many opportunities for everyone, including women.” Rachel enjoys being a part of the project assisting team and handling everything from submittals to material purchase orders and cutting lists for the shop and field, because they provide great responsibility and challenge. “It is gratifying and rewarding to see the hard work become a reality!” says Rachel.
Journey Woman Glassworker Mary Hoffer came to Empirehouse with 19 years of fabrication experience. At her previous employer she was the only woman worker out of 120 employees. She was surprised to see how many women are working at Empirehouse in virtually every department. When asked what she loves most about being a Glassworker at Empirehouse, Mary said, “It’s rewarding to see the completed projects I’ve been a part of, like the Mystic Lake Center Sage glass swoosh wall. That was a challenging project because there were so many unique frame angles with wires needing to fed through for the electrochromatic glass.”
Marketing Communications Specialist Jennifer Klitzke has worked various marketing/communications roles her entire career before Empirehouse introduced her to the architectural glass and metal industry. “Being at a job site capturing photos of massive glass lites (or two-ton metal frames) being craned into iconic structures is thrilling,” she said. “And witnessing how many roles and people it takes to move a project through the construction process—from initial scope review to innovative problem solving and design assist for system constructability, through the project management, drafting, fabrication, and glazing installation phases, until the project is complete—has been rewarding to capture through story. Buildings don’t build themselves. People build buildings, and I’m proud to be a part of this dynamic team and fascinating industry.”
“Being a women working in the construction has its challenges,” says Estimator Leslie Price. “However when you break through those challenges it is very rewarding! I enjoy connecting with the construction crews/people that build these amazing project/ideas and enjoy to hear the input!”
Estimator Leigh Hollenbeck is impressed with the education and skill development opportunities she has gained while working in the construction industry. “I most recently took an architectural plan reading course through MN Builders Exchange,” Leigh said. “I learned a number of useful things. In much more competitive labor markets, it can be challenging to acquire the skills and experience one needs to move up in their career. It’s a huge opportunity to work at a business that invests in its employees the way Empirehouse does.”
Empirehouse became Molly Merz first construction employer. She began as an ID Worker and later promoted to Logistics Coordinator. “What I love most about working at Empirehouse,” says Molly, “Is that my position allows me to develop relationships with people in every department of the Company.” She also enjoys helping people find the equipment and material they are looking for within the warehouse.
Talking with some of the women Glass Workers, ID Workers, and Apprentices over lunch break revealed a unanimous consensus of equal pay for women. People are rewarded equally for their hard work and skills with good pay and benefits.
You can’t talk about women in construction without the topic of port-a-potties being brought up. Lucky for those of us office workers who are thankful for clean, flush toilets. (Those of us who work in the field however, have many stories to share.)
Empirehouse is a certified DBE women-owned business enterprise. Come join a great company with great people who are producing great results!