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Women In Construction Week

March 08, 2016

It’s national Women in Construction Week this week (March 6-March 12). In honor of this occasion, we sat down with St. Clair County resident, Miryam Todd, to ask a couple questions about her life in the construction industry. Todd is a PM Administrative Assistant with Brasfield & Gorrie, and a member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).

Miryam Todd
Miryam Todd (left) with fellow NAWIC member Mary Hobart at NAWIC national conference.

 

Go Build Alabama:

So, tell us a little about yourself.

Miryam Todd:

  • Name: Miryam Todd
  • Employer: Brasfield & Gorrie
  • Job Title: PM Administrative Assistant
  • Primary Responsibilities: I manage everything from sending out Purchase Orders and Subcontracts, to gathering and verifying correct documentation so our subs can work on the jobsite. Basically, when you’re on the jobsite it is like running a small business. I’m involved in every aspect of the construction process, and when starting a job there are a lot of things that we need to think about, including coordinating trailers, utilities, venders who provide services or products needed in the jobsite office, insurance and safety protocols. Safety of every person on site is ultimately the most important part of any construction job.
  • Interests or extracurricular activities: Participating in the activities of the National Association of Women in Construction, NAWIC. I’ve been a member since 2002 and have learned so much from all of the women that I’ve met through this organization. The relationships are forged for life! I also love working outside in the yard with my plants and vegetable garden, and love to fish. I guess, I just like being outside!

Go Build Alabama:

Why did you choose a career in construction? 

Miryam Toddy:

My husband first introduced me to it. He knew somebody who needed help running a jobsite office, and  I liked the idea that work would bring something different every day. I have to admit, it’s fun being able to see a building coming out of the ground, watch new construction technics develop, and work with young project managers,  foremen and superintendents as they develop into successful leaders in our company.

Go Build Alabama:

What do you love most about your job?

Miryam Todd:

I like working with the subcontractors, owners, and architects on the job site.  Meeting great people all the time is my favorite part of my job.

Go Build Alabama: 

What advice would you give someone considering a career in construction?

Miryam Todd:

It’s never boring or mundane. There is always something to do as we see a building taking shape. So, if you are energetic, get bored easy, or if you like to do things with your hands, this may be an avenue to pursue. Besides, you are always learning something new.

Go Build Alabama: 

What advice would you give to a young woman in St. Clair County about this, or any other career considerations? In other words, is there anything unique that you would share with someone in St. Clair County about opportunities or resources available in their community that they can turn to for help, support, training, questions, etc.? 

Miryam Todd:

There are a lot of opportunities in the construction industry these days. Sometimes the big employers don’t advertise their job openings, but most have good relationships with schools like Jeff State and actually hire a lot of people right out of the classroom. With Jeff State having a campus right here in St. Clair County, they are absolutely a tremendous resource. The same can be said with other programs and schools in different parts of the state, but I’m a little biased!

Otherwise, I often hear of plumbing and electrical apprenticeships available in our area. Many of the larger employers, or apprenticeship programs will bring you in, provide training, then give you an opportunity to grow within the company. For those who are interested, you can also go to college to obtain a degree in building science, civil engineering, or construction management. There are so many different facets of the construction industry, I always recommend asking a lot of questions, or calling and asking if employers are hiring. Lastly, NAWIC does a lot to try and help promote career opportunities, offer trainings and support younger women in the industry – we like to give back and empower others to succeed.

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