Powering girls up for careers in construction

Asian woman construction worker standing in front of an industrial crane

This blog post was originally published on Breaking Ground: the NCCER Blog, and was re-posted with permission.


As we celebrated Women in Construction Week from March 6-12, it was a great opportunity to promote construction careers to women of all ages. It is important to have this conversation early with young girls and their mothers as they start to think about career choices. I was recently motivated to partner with Girls Inc. of Central Alabama and Central Six Development Council to put together an all-new event called Power UP: It’s a Mother Daughter Thing!

power up its a mother daughter thingPower UP was created to familiarize middle and high school girls with careers in the construction industry at an early age so they are aware of the opportunities available to them. As a woman in the construction industry, it is important to me to not only educate, engage and encourage girls and their mothers about career pathways in the construction industry, but also to introduce them to successful women in these roles. Attendees will hear from Kayleen McCabe, host of DIY Network’s Rescue Renovation. McCabe is a licensed contractor and 2009 winner of DIY’s Stud Finder competition.

I know that in order to get girls interested in construction we need parent buy-in, which is why the event is a mother-daughter thing. Power UP is designed to be a small event – only 50 spots – to ensure that mothers and daughters receive quality, one-on-one attention. During the event, mothers and daughters will visit four different stations to learn about higher education, talk with contractors, conduct hands-on activities and participate in a panel discussion led by successful women in the industry.

Our goal with Power UP is to inspire mothers and daughters to be empowered by the construction industry. This collaborative effort creates partnerships at all levels and removes barriers as factors in developing a diversified and stronger construction industry workforce. The topic of women in construction has always been true to my heart, and I want Power UP to be an industry model for other contractors to replicate. Women are an untapped resource in our industry and can be the solution to construction’s growing workforce challenges.


NCCER and its Build Your Future initiative are proud to celebrate Women in Construction Week with the National Association of Women in Construction from March 6-12. Women in Construction Week celebrates the achievements of women in the construction industry and increases the awareness of construction career choices for women. 


About the Author
Dr. Mittie Cannon

Dr. Mittie Cannon

Dr. Mittie Cannon is the director of workforce development for Robins & Morton. She serves on the board of directors for SkillsAlabama and as chair of the Advisory Council for Career & Technical Education of the Alabama Department of Youth Services, chair of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) National Workforce Programs & Initiatives Committee and chair of the NCCER Workforce Development Committee and Assessment Advisory Council. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Cannon also recruited and mentored the first female welder in the history of the ABC National Craft Championships to take top honors in welding. Dr. Cannon received her doctorate in educational leadership from University of Phoenix.