DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – National Construction Women Week was celebrated March 8-12. Ohio Valley’s associate builders and contractors used the week to highlight women who work on-site in the construction business and encourage other women to think about jobs within the construction industry.
Dayton-based Envirocontrol Systems owners and executives Lisa Crosley and Jessica Arney share their experiences as women in the industry to encourage other women to consider applying.
“My advice to women is to know what you can do, and not have a chip on your shoulder that feels like you have to prove something to someone else,” said Crosley, president and majority owner of Envirocontrol Systems .
Crosley and Arney also have a unique situation. They work together, but are also mother and daughter. Crosley says she and her husband bought the company in order to build a family legacy in 2004.
“There is no one better to do business with than your family because they will always be your biggest fans.” said Arney, owner and service manager at Envirocontrol Systems.
They support each other and make a point of supporting the other women who work with them and are in the industry with them.
“There isn’t a feeling that I have to hold back other women in order for me to excel,” said Crosley. “There is a feeling that as women we all help one another.”
In 2019, women made up only 10 percent of the construction industry. Crosley and Arney say women may overlook lucrative job opportunities.
“In our industry, in heating and air conditioning, [there are] other options beyond physical labor, ”said Arney.
“Women, don’t think you have to be Rosie the Riveter to get into the trades,” said Crosley. “There are a lot of really good career opportunities within the trade.”
The Ohio Valley ABC says that more than 5 million women have lost or left their jobs since the COVID pandemic, and no, it is the perfect time for them to enter an industry where there is a huge demand for labor.
“When you go to a job site and see diversity, it fits better together and makes you more confident about who works for you,” said Carlos Panzardi of ABC Ohio Valley. “You will get a better team because there are more people from different places.”
To encourage more women to apply for jobs in the construction and commercial sectors, ABC from the Ohio Valley offers an apprenticeship program. They currently have around 250 participants. The deadline for the group next year is September. Click here for more info.