Future: 'I Am & I Will' - Helen Panebianco
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For this blog, one of our FCLF website bloggers/editors is sharing her experience of entering and working in the construction industry. Helen graduated with honors from San Diego State University in the Spring of 2017 and she works as a Project Assistant for Dynalectric San Diego; this is her story.

I am a woman, I am college educated and I am in construction. I was born into a middle class, blue-collar family where I was continuously told from a young age that I could be anything I wanted to be. When I was in high school, I was coached into the ideology that I would find success in life if I went to college and earned a degree. When I was in my junior year of college I realized that success would come as long as I was willing and ready to work hard for what I wanted.

Throughout my four years of school, I supported myself by working full time as a material handler for a large electrical contractor. Thanks to hard work and dedication, every year came with more responsibilities, from work and from school, but I didn’t shy away from them. From the get go, I knew that I was probably never going to be one of the guys at work, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to relate to a lot of the students I was going to school with, but I decided I needed to make sure my voice was still heard in order to get the most out of my career and my education. Being a woman, even in today’s current progressive society, isn’t always easy. When silence is seen as compliance and opening your mouth is seen as feminist ranting, it’s easy to feel like you’re always walking on eggshells. Eventually, you get to a point when you realize, the eggs are cracked already, why not crack them a little more?

I’ll never forget the first time I cracked the shells. I was helping an old school journeyman because he needed some material that was boxed up and he couldn’t open it himself for some reason. I took out my Kershaw and he quickly said, “that’s scary!” and I asked him, “what?” and without hesitation he replied, “a woman with a knife.” Without thought, without question I replied, “at least I know how to use one.” He was shocked. He didn’t know what to say and I walked away feeling empowered. After that day, I refused to be silent anymore. I refused to be, “the girl in the shop,” I was Helen; I was capable of doing anything and everything my male counterparts could do. I stripped wire, I used tools, I drove the trucks and operated heavy equipment. I had a voice, a loud one at that, and I was going to be heard. My newfound voice ultimately made me a better student. I stopped agreeing with everything my professors and classmates said. I began debating and using my life as an example; in the end, I would like think I helped others too. I helped other students realize that there were other ways of thinking and it was okay to bring something new to the table. I helped my peers realize that their opinions and voices could and would make a difference.

When I graduated, I had the option to enter an upwards of six different career fields and I chose the one I didn’t get a degree in. I chose construction because in finding my voice, I found my purpose. I found a drive to build things, from digging the hole to cutting the ribbon. I developed a love/hate relationship for the constant challenges that I have and will continue to face when working as a woman in a male-dominated industry. I found purpose in laying a foundation for more than just myself.  In my working life, I may never see a construction industry that is a 50/50 ratio of women to men, but I can help lay the ground work for more young women to find their voices and their passions within construction. Generations and generations of women in construction dug the hole and poured the foundation for women like myself to have a place in the industry if I chose it as a career. It’s my turn now to work with the rest of my generation to build the stairs and help take women in construction to the next level. I am a woman, I am college educated, I am in construction and I WILL be successful.


Helen Panebianco
Present: 'Pay attention' - PJ Panebianco
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An apprentice is going to have consistent prompting on roughing in a wall, a journeyman is going to be handed the drawings and expected to know what to do based on those drawings; a lead guy is going to be given drawings for a whole floor and be told to get the floor done; a foreman or a general foreman is going to be handed the keys to the trailer and told to get the job done.

For this week's FCLF blog we sat down with PJ Panebianco! PJ is a General Foreman at Dynalectric-San Diego. After 30 years in the construction industry, PJ is a seasoned, certified Journeyman Wireman (JW) who knows a thing or two about the ins and outs of construction. 

When asked how he got into construction, he cracked a few jokes, and eventually came to the answer that after attempting junior college for a few semesters, playing college basketball in the process, he found that he didn’t enjoy college. 

"To be honest, I didn’t like the other students. I felt like it was an extension of high school and I wasn’t feeling it."

In his presence it is easy to understand this statement; Mr. Panebianco possesses a ‘no nonsense’ attitude which makes his claims of ‘not feeling it,’ that more understandable. He went on to explain that in a nutshell, he figured out college wasn’t for him and that he was ready to have a job and start earning a life for himself. He started working in the industry and soon after he made the decision to apply for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Local Union #569 (IBEW Local #569) Inside Wireman Apprenticeship Program. This program was and still is a five year training program that offers apprentices a wide range of electrical skills that will help them to further their career. While the program is seen by some as rigorous, the turnout is a JW certification and the potential of a wonderful and successful life as a certified electrician. Just to be clear, Mr. Panebianco did not give up on his traditional college education. After finishing the apprenticeship program, he went back to attend night school at the same junior college and worked for the next 20 plus years to earn an Associates of Science in Electricity (thanks to his credits from the apprenticeship program) and an Associates of Arts in Photography (Fun Fact: when PJ graduated in 2014 from Grossmont CC, he was only one of ten people who had ever finished the photography program).  It was also in that 20 plus years that he went back and taught as an instructor for the IBEW apprenticeship program. He is now in pursuit of his Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering; he hopes to transfer to San Diego State University in the near future. All in all, through actions and statements, Mr. Panebianco clearly supports education in all forms whether it be junior college, trade programs, four year universities, apprenticeship programs, etc.

As our interview moved forward, I asked PJ what advice he would give to his 18 year old self? After some head scratching and ponder, he said,

Make sure you find something you really want to do, because at 18 you don’t know [a lot].

As a leader himself, we asked what qualities he believes makes for a great leader? Believe it or not, this question took him a while to answer. Initially he made comments that leadership goes hand in hand with responsibility. He explained what he calls the “flip the pyramid” method (See diagram). This method expresses that at different levels of leadership (he used his own realm of leadership roles) there is growth in the need of leadership qualities. After this he stated that ultimately, a great leader, “makes others better,” and does that by surrounding themselves with people they trust and people that are educated. Mr. Panebianco went on to say that in his opinion, in order to make others better, a great leader needs street credibility, which comes with experience, people skills and ability to maintain composure under pressure. Furthermore, he explained that the experience and street credibility is very important in construction because it goes hand in hand with the way you grow as a construction worker and a trade’s person. 

With each level, comes more responsibility and more skills necessary to delegate tasks and work with different people. A leader will be able to get the job done with the help of those around them.

The final question we had for Mr. Panebianco was what the most valuable lesson he had learned in his career? He answered, without hesitation, “Pay attention, you might learn something; in life and in work, you’re never as smart as you think you are.” It is clear that Mr. Panebianco  has had a colorful 30 year career pegged with experience, wisdom and his own fair share of obstacles. His perseverance and dedication has shown that construction leaders are not built overnight, but will shine through in the end.

Helen Panebianco
Camp NAWIC 2018 - Making A Difference
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Being at camp helped me build up my confidence. Camp NAWIC has helped me consider a career in construction.
— Mayra, 16, Fourth Year Journeywoman
One thing I enjoyed about the camp was getting to meet girls from all different schools and regions of San Diego. Another thing that stood out to me was how kind and passionate all the mentors and teacher at this camp were.
— Evie, 16, Apprentice

Camp NAWIC San Diego was started on the focus to present local high school girls with knowledge of the career opportunities that awaited them following graduation. For 10 years the Camp NAWIC SD committee worked through the usual and not so usual challenges that arise when fostering new youth outreach programs, the 11th year came with its own new set of challenges: doubling numbers, new facility and a need for transportation. With our continued dedication to our campers, the committee set out to make things happen. Over the course of a few months we locked down a new, bigger, location: Associated General Contractors Training Facility, now, how to get everyone there? With the need to increase numbers and a generous donation from DPR Construction, we established four bus routes bringing in students from as far south as Downtown San Diego, as far east as El Cajon, and as far north as Poway. By May 20th we had 50 campers, we were going to make a difference.

With 37 fresh minded apprentices and 13 returning journeywomen in a new facility, it was expected that Monday morning was going to be a busy one, but we were as ready as we could be. Continuing the tradition of a two tier camp education, the returning journeywomen were off to a new curriculum and new projects while our apprentices waited anxiously to see what this new experience would bring.

To break the ice we started the apprentices with something we knew would ‘spark’ their interest. Thanks to our new facilities, we were able to teach each apprentice the basics of welding. AGC instructors taught the girls basic spot and half-moon welds, and in their off time, campers worked on their basic carpentry skills building bird houses and bird feeders. Across the facility, our journeywomen were in for quite a surprise. For the first time in the camp’s 11 year run, our journeywomen were embarking on individual projects, plan reading and estimating! Each of the journeywomen were tasked with building their own dog house in a mere five days. The girls were also in for another treat; a Camp NAWIC 2008 Alumni was going to be their instructor for plan reading and estimating; talk about full circle! 4PM on Monday came quick, but by the end of the day we had hooked all our campers, they were ready and excited for the rest of the week.

I never thought I would have the opportunities I have had.
— Hazel, 18, Fourth Year Journeywoman

7AM, Tuesday morning came early, but nothing beat the excited faces of campers as they arrived for another day packed full of new experiences. As the journeywomen went to work prepping and cutting material, the apprentices headed to their next lesson, sheet metal work. Members from the Sheet Metal Workers International, Local 206, came out and taught the girls about the abundance of ways sheet metal is used and finished their lesson by helping the girls make their own sheet metal roses. In the day’s spare time, apprentices got first hand fall protection experience. Learning how to put on a harness properly, climb up a scaffold and even using equipment to lower oneself into a manhole, which also included some confined space training.

Day three, the journeywomen began the process of constructing their houses. With the help of instructors and volunteers, the girls learned to use new tools and saw their projects come to life right before their very own eyes. Across the facility, apprentices were learning the basics to electrical and solar trades. Members of the JATC, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 569, brought out wiring boards designed to teach the girls about wiring up lights and switches, and then finished off with some pipe bending lessons. Volunteers from Swinerton Renewable Energy also came out for electrical day, bringing solar panels to teach the girls how they work and the benefits of solar renewable energy.

With half the week already gone, the journeywomen began to feel the pressure to start wrapping up their projects. With every passing day they gained new knowledge and perspective to the multitude of aspects that go into completing a project. Reading, investigating and deciphering drawings while making sure they remained productive and worked diligently to meet their daily goals. While the apprentices did not have a grand project that they were working on, they were met with their own challenges. On Thursday, volunteers from Countywide Mechanical Systems, INC. came and taught the girls the entry-level ins and outs of plumbing. The apprentices learned all about sinks and toilets and even got the opportunity to test their skills in groups as they raced to take apart and put back together toilets.

The final day of camp is always fun! As the journeywomen completed the final touches on their doghouses, the apprentices got the experience of a lifetime operating heavy equipment thanks to Hawthorne CAT and learning surveying with the help of volunteers from RICK Engineering. The 11th annual Camp NAWIC Hawthorne Barbeque followed the day’s lessons. Family, friends, instructors, volunteers, and campers came together to celebrate the accomplishments of all the campers. Following the lunch we recognized the girls at our graduation ceremony and left them words of advice, “look back on what you accomplished this week and realize that you are capable of anything, whatever that may be.”

The end of every camp always feels a little bittersweet for those of us who work to put it together. Each year you walk away hoping that you’ve made a difference; you tell yourself, "if I just helped one, it was enough." This year’s camp was full of challenges just like any construction project, but we faced them, we worked through them and when we looked back on the camper’s reviews, we were reminded of why we do what we do. Camp NAWIC 2018 was truly a game changer in bringing construction career knowledge to local high school girls and we cannot wait to do it all again next year. Together, we’re making a difference.

The activities are really fun, but being a journeyman is a lot more fun. You really feel like you’ve done something.
— Shanon, 17, Third Year Journeywoman
To break it down for you we are pretty much one big family that always work together to build cool things.
— Stephanie, 15, Third Year Journeywoman
The opportunities this camp offers are incredible. This experience will teach you how to work in male-dominated work places with women who presently work in one. This camp really gave me the confidence I needed to pursue this type of work.
— Fineita, 14, Apprentice
It was fun. I can’t tell you how much I learned from this camp.
— Gigi, 15, Third Year Journeywoman
Helen Panebianco
Clark Construction - Camp NAWIC Introduction

Clark Construction has been a key partner for Camp NAWIC San Diego. Check out their latest video promoting the program. We are so proud to see it features one of our Camp graduates. She'll tell you in her own words the impact this program has made on her life. 

Want to learn more about Camp NAWIC? Check out our Programs page.

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Camp NAWICLinda Young
KUSI Features Camp NAWIC 2018

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) provides its members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, public service and more.

Its mission to support women active in the construction industry.

The San Diego Chapter, chartered on April 30, 1959, is very active and involved in the construction industry and the community.

Each year the chapter participates in a variety of events including educational seminars and conferences, Women in Construction Week (WIC Week), Block Kids (construction awareness program for children in grades K thru 6), CAD/Design/Drafting Contest (High School student activity), Camp NAWIC (a week long program designed to mentor high school girls regarding a career in the construction industry), college scholarships, joint meetings with other San Diego professional organizations and various activities with local charities.

Future Construction Leaders of San Diego, (NAWIC San Diego’s charitable foundation) mission is the advancement of programs focused on educating youth about career opportunities in the construction industry and encouraging them to pursue a career in this field.

Camp NAWIC is coming up on its 11th year June 18-22.

Camp NAWIC provides a supportive and nurturing environment for high school girls to explore and develop basic skills in construction and safety areas such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, sheet metal, landscaping, heavy equipment, surveying, and masonry.

Linda Young
San Diego’s Camp NAWIC Highlighted in National Magazine

NAWIC Image, the national magazine of the National Association of Women in Construction, features San Diego’s 2017 Camp NAWIC in its Fall 2017 edition. The success of San Diego’s Camp NAWIC came to the attention of editors through a column written by Associated Builders and Contractors apprenticeship board chairman Brian Lynch. He agreed to write a column for NAWIC Image.

Thank you to Brian and NAWIC for the coverage, and thank you to all of the instructors, organizers, sponsors, and many other partners and volunteers who make Camp NAWIC possible for our high school students.

If you would like to sponsor Camp NAWIC 2018, please contact us or visit our Donate page for more information.

Linda Young
Masonry Industry Training Association Highlights Camp NAWIC 2017

The Masonry Industry Training Association (MITA) shined a spotlight on masonry skills training as part of the 2017 edition of Camp NAWIC in its July 2017 newsletter.

MITA provided instruction in hands-on skills, putting tools in the campers’ hands to build two planters in a single-day project. The 2 beautiful planters were designed to match the updated entrance to the Athletic Fields at Kearny High School Stanley E. Foster School of Engineering, Innovation and Design (EID). 

See video of the young women at work below.

Linda YoungCamp NAWIC
San Diego Transcript: Seeing is believing for women in construction

San Diego Transcript monthly columnist Brian Lynch, president of Certified Air Conditioning in San Diego and board chairman of the ABC San Diego Training Trust, wrote about the Future Construction Leaders Foundation’s efforts and Camp NAWIC 2017 in his July column.

The Foundation and its supports thank Brian for shining a light on efforts to recruit more women into the construction talent pool.

Linda YoungCamp NAWIC
‘Africa Rocks’ Behind the Scenes Tour Benefits Foundation

Two dozen members of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) enjoyed an exclusive behind the scenes tour and construction site walk of the new ‘Africa Rocks’ exhibit at the world famous San Diego Zoo. Hosted by construction project manager Rudolph & Sletten, the fundraiser benefitted the Future Construction Leaders Foundation.

Participants were able to see the construction site in many different stages of completion, from underground utility installation, to a three-acre wire canopy that will become the enclosures for many of the animals. This will give an open feel to the exhibit,
allowing the animals a more natural habitat. The group also viewed the finished section where penguins and tiger sharks are displayed.

A big thank you to Rudolph & Sletten for generously hosting NAWIC and Rudolph & Sletten’s ongoing support of our programs to develop a quality construction workforce.

Linda Young
Inspiring the Next Generation at Camp NAWIC 2017

Twenty-seven San Diego high school girls enjoyed the opportunity to learn about careers in construction through Camp NAWIC 2017, a hands-on free summer day camp hosted by the San Diego Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction. Camp NAWIC celebrated its tenth year of investing in the next generation of construction professionals at the Kearny High School of Engineering, Innovation and Design in San Diego.

Camp NAWIC was created as a community outreach project to kindle interest among high school age girls in pursuing careers in the construction industry, where women are still vastly under represented.

Camp activities and projects are designed to challenge the students to discover the many opportunities available. Girls learn teamwork and trade skills. Instructors and camp mentors are all construction professionals.

On their first day, the 12 first-time apprentices worked with sheet metal to build their own tool boxes, and the 15 journeypersons returning for a second or third year of camp began their work on a new storage shed for the athletic department. By midweek, the apprentices were learning about electrical work, and the journeypersons worked on the exterior siding as well as roofing for the shed. By the fifth and final day of Camp NAWIC, the journeyperson team completed the shed, and the apprentices built block planters in the new athletic field area. The apprentices also learned how to operate heavy machinery.

NAWIC San Diego and Future Construction Leaders Foundation thanks our instructors, material suppliers and financial sponsors who made Camp NAWIC 2017 possible for these impressive young women:

  • Associated Builders and Contractors, San Diego Training Trust
  • Associated General Contractors Apprenticeship Training Trust
  • Breceda Landscape
  • Countywide Metal
  • El Cajon Plumbing & Heating Co.
  • Hawthorne CAT
  • International Brotherhood Electrical Workers Local 569
  • Kearny High School – Stanley E. Foster School of Engineering, Innovation and Design
  • H & E Equipment Services, Inc.
  • Jobsite Supply
  • Masonry Industry Training Association
  • My City Screen Printing
  • National Electrical Contractors Association
  • Dave Ratynski—DNS Masonry
  • RCP Block & Brick
  • Rick Engineering Company
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Local 206
  • Sunstate Equipment
  • Tomboy Tools– Nancy Eaton
  • CRC CARES Foundation
  • Dynalectric Company
  • Paradigm Mechanical Corp
  • Swinerton Foundation
  • Swinerton Renewable Energy
  • PCL Construction
  • American Society of Professional Estimators
  • Casper Company
  • Datalink Solutions, Inc.
  • Marcia Hazan & Mark Cammell
  • Sheila Holdway
  • Kramer Engineering
  • Brian Monson
  • Rhonda Mitchell
  • Davies Electric Company, Inc.
  • Gwen & Neil Miller
  • Law Office of Wendi Santino
  • Diane Quimby
Linda Young
KGTV 10 News Features Camp NAWIC 2017

The 2017 edition of Camp NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) takes place June 19 – June 23, 2017 at Stanley E. Foster School of Engineering, Innovation & Design. This camp introduces female high school students to the construction industry in a positive and challenging manner.

Learn more about Camp NAWIC in this interview with Suzanne Ives of NAWIC San Diego, aired on KGTV 10 News.

High school girls can attend Camp NAWIC at no charge, learning the basic skills of carpentry, electrical, plumbing, sheet metal, concrete, surveying, and heavy equipment operation.

This camp is designed to challenge high school girls to discover the many opportunities available in our exciting and rewarding industry. Girls learn valuable trade and life skills.

Each of the apprentices will be provided with a set of small hand tools, a hard hat, tool bag and safety glasses. The journeymen will receive two additional tools to add to their tool bag. In the process of learning the apprentices will each complete several projects they will take home. The journeymen (returning campers) will put to use the skills they learned as apprentices at Camp NAWIC by building a project for the school campus.

Guest speakers and camp counselors will include men and women employed in the San Diego regional construction industry.  

Future Construction Leaders Foundation is seeking financial sponsors to assist in creating a memorable experience for the students – one that will encourage them to pursue more information regarding a career in the construction industry. Visit the Become a Sponsor page and learn how you can help support Camp NAWIC and other Foundation programs.

Linda Young
Supporting Girls in STEM Careers

If you hear STEM and think about trees, Future Construction Leaders Foundation San Diego and many other organizations would like to change your thinking.

"STEM" is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It is most often applied to education. The origin of this acronym is usually given to Judith A. Ramaley. She served as the assistant director for education and human resources at the National Science Foundation from 2001 to 2004.

Ramaley later served as president of Winona State University in Minnesota. It was there her local newspaper quoted her saying that when her team was first creating curricula for those disciplines, the acronym they came up with was "SMET," but she "didn't like the sound of that word." So she changed it.

But educators have been concerned about improving education in these disciplines for much longer. The need is especially great among young women who have often been left short of education in these fields due to (sometimes well-intentioned) gender bias.

Dr. Eboni Camille Chillis, Ph.D., Coordinator of Career, Technical & Agricultural Education at Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia, recently wrote about STEM education. Our organization found it worth sharing with you.

Please read Dr. Chillis' thoughts here.

There will be 2.4 million STEM jobs left unfilled by the end of 2018. The time is NOW to recruit and educate girls and women in these jobs for both their benefit and for the benefit of our society.

This blog was originally posted on the ACTE Educators in Action Blog and was reposted with permission.

Linda Young
Foundation Joins STEAM Maker Festival Festivities
 (L to R) Teran Breceda, Jan Parthemer, Anita Villani Barnes, Rhonda Mitchell, Linda Young, and Shannon Carner at the 2016 STEAM Maker Festival.

(L to R) Teran Breceda, Jan Parthemer, Anita Villani Barnes, Rhonda Mitchell, Linda Young, and Shannon Carner at the 2016 STEAM Maker Festival.

 Visitors to the Future Construction Leaders Foundation booth were invited to write cards to military servicemen and women deployed overseas during the holidays.

Visitors to the Future Construction Leaders Foundation booth were invited to write cards to military servicemen and women deployed overseas during the holidays.

An enthusiastic team representing Future Construction Leaders Foundation participated in the recent STEAM Maker Festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The event is a hands-on family-based educational festival highlighting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education opportunities. The festival allows students at all grade levels to explore and learn about how STEAM education prepares them for the modern workforce -- including construction careers.

Future Construction Leaders Foundation enjoyed its participation in the STEAM Maker Festival and the opportunity to display the commitment to the outreach of STEAM programs alongside more than two dozen technology company demonstrations and activities.

One percent of all STEAM Maker Festival proceeds and sponsorship go directly toward providing free events, programs and activities to San Diego County schools, including all of the festivals and STEAM Challenges which welcome hundreds of participants from 200+ schools, in addition to more than 7,000 attendees.

 Is one of these students a future construction leader?

Is one of these students a future construction leader?

 (Left, Myrna L. Smith): Visitors enjoy the Future Construction Leaders Foundation display at the 2016 STEAM Maker Festival.

(Left, Myrna L. Smith): Visitors enjoy the Future Construction Leaders Foundation display at the 2016 STEAM Maker Festival.

Linda Young
Sherry Yarbrough Named Recipient of 2016 WILL Award by East County Chamber of Commerce
 (L to R) 2015 WILL Award recipients Catt Fields White, Theresa Kemper, Sherry Yarbrough, Alison Cummings, Dana Rivers, Jill Meyers. Not shown Marlee Ehrenfeld.

(L to R) 2015 WILL Award recipients Catt Fields White, Theresa Kemper, Sherry Yarbrough, Alison Cummings, Dana Rivers, Jill Meyers. Not shown Marlee Ehrenfeld.

The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce recently honored Sherry Yarbrough, Executive Director of the Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Training Program as one of seven recipients of the Women in Leadership Luncheon (WILL) award.

According to Leah McIvor, 2016 event chair, 35 nominees were considered by the committee for the awards program, now in its 14th year. She said the recipients were honored for their outstanding leadership, exemplary character and integrity in the community, as well as their efforts to empower women to succeed and prosper in life and business.

“All of these women, the nominees and the awardees, are very deserving of the recognition they’ve received today,” said McIvor. “They’ve had a positive impact on the local economy, and have contributed in many other ways to the greater San Diego area.”

Yarbrough was selected for her professional accomplishments as a leader in construction craft professional education; her volunteer contributions to industry related advocacy organizations including the National Association of Women in Construction including her role as a founding member of Future Construction Leaders Foundation of San Diego; and as champion for increasing professional opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups in the construction industry.

Watch a portion of Sherry's acceptance speech in the video to the left.

Since the ABC’s Apprenticeship Training Program began in 1989, more than 2,200 graduates have launched rewarding careers in five different construction crafts, including electrical, plumbing, pipefitting, sheet metal and air conditioning and heating.  In addition to her work with NAWIC and the Future Construction Leaders Foundation, Sherry is also is a founding board member of the North County Trade Tech Charter High School, a school providing an alternative educational path for at-risk youth through New Haven Youth & Family Services.

After a 17-year career at ABC, Sherry is retiring at the end of this year. She will continue to serve as a board member of Future Construction Leaders.

Other honorees also included Alison Cummings, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC); Marlee J. Ehrenfeld, MJE Marketing; Theresa Kemper, Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD); Jill Meyers, Women in Aviation International; Dana Rivers, Barona Resort & Casino; and Catt Fields White, San Diego Public Markets.

The September 16 luncheon drew 360 attendees to the Town and Country Resort Hotel in Mission Valley. Emcee was former TV anchor Lee Ann Kim who now serves currently serves on advisory boards for the Women’s Museum and San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Kim was a WILL honoree in 2014. Keynote speaker was fitness instructor, dancer and choreographer Dionne Thomas, a licensed Zumba instructor and speaker at a 2015 TedX Temecula event.

Linda Young
Young Construction Professionals Work Toward Careers at Camp NAWIC 2016

Watch San Diego high school girls as they get the opportunity to learn about careers in construction through Camp NAWIC 2016, a hands-on free summer day camp hosted by the San Diego Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction. Camp NAWIC celebrated its ninth year of camp at the Kearny High School of Engineering, Innovation and Design in San Diego.

Camp NAWIC was created as a community outreach project to kindle interest among high school age girls in pursuing careers in the construction industry, where women are still vastly under represented. Camp activities and projects are designed to challenge the students to discover the many opportunities available. Girls learn teamwork and trade skills. Instructors and camp mentors are all construction professionals.

Future Construction Leaders Foundation thanks Sandra Cree of Creeations Photography for contributing her time and talent to this video.

Linda Young