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Celebrating Empowerment and Infrastructure

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, national leaders, and industry professionals gather to support women in the asphalt industry

COMPILED BY WOMEN OF ASPHALT

The Women of Asphalt (WofA) West Virginia Branch was thrilled to host their kick-off event on April 5 at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, which featured U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito as the keynote speaker. The launch of the West Virginia Branch by Chairwoman Therese Mizer, Project Manager/Branch Manager at Mid Atlantic Maintenance Corp, and Co-Chairwoman Megan Temple, Project Estimator at Shelly and Sands, Inc., is a significant milestone for WofA and the industry. By creating a local network of support, women in West Virginia can connect with one another and work toward common goals. The Branch will provide a platform for members to share their experiences and knowledge and advocate for the advancement of women in the industry.

Capito, who is the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, shared her insights on the importance of infrastructure with the kick-off attendees. Capito’s dedication to supporting women in male-dominated industries such as construction and infrastructure was inspiring to many in the room. As a result, she became WofA’s first senator member, a role that recognizes her commitment to promoting gender equality in the industry.

Capito also expressed her commitment to supporting the infrastructure and transportation industry in West Virginia, stating, “The quality of our roads and infrastructure in West Virginia will always be something I prioritize through my work in the Senate. It was great to speak directly with so many women involved in our transportation industry at WofA West Virginia’s first meeting.”

Capito’s remarks reflect the importance of collaboration and community building in promoting the advancement of women in the infrastructure industry. Her support for WofA and its mission to create a supportive community for women in the industry demonstrates a commitment to promoting gender equality and providing opportunities for all. By working together, women in the asphalt industry can continue to make strides towards achieving their goals and advancing their careers.

Capito spoke about her program “West Virginia Girls Rise Up,” which aims to empower and support women across the state. This program seeks to address the challenges that girls face in pursuing their passions and achieving their goals. The program provides opportunities for girls to engage in activities such as STEM education, leadership development, and mentorship, as well as programs focused on physical and mental health. By fostering a supportive community for girls, the program aims to help them build confidence and develop the skills necessary to succeed in all aspects of their lives.

This Program is just one of Capito’s initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. Her efforts have been recognized by organizations such as the National Association of Women in Construction, which awarded her their Legislative Leadership Award in 2019. Her commitment to supporting women and girls in traditionally male-dominated industries like infrastructure and construction has been an inspiration to many, and her work continues to have a positive impact on communities across the state.

In addition to Capito’s address, the event also featured speeches from Sheila Barkevich, WofA President, and Amy Miller, immediate past-president of WofA and the National Director of the Asphalt Pavement Alliance. They spoke on behalf of WofA national, sharing the organization’s history and upcoming initiatives.

Barkevich, who is also the CRH Northeast Division Performance Manager at CRH Americas Materials, emphasized the importance of networking and community building in promoting the advancement of women in the asphalt industry. Miller, who has been instrumental in developing WofA initiatives, spoke about the organization’s mission to create a supportive community for women in the industry and to provide resources and opportunities for career development.

In addition, Barkevich made an exciting announcement at the event, revealing that WofA will host its first-ever Women of Asphalt Day on March 27, 2024. Hosted in conjunction with the World of Asphalt in Nashville, Tenn., the event is expected to draw attendees from across the country and will provide a valuable opportunity for women in the asphalt industry to network, learn, and share their experiences.

Overall, WofA’s West Virginia Branch kick-off event was a success, thanks to the contributions of Capito, Mizer, Temple, Barkevich, and Miller. Their dedication to promoting gender equality and advancing women in the asphalt industry is commendable and serves as an inspiration to women across the country. The event was a reminder of the progress that has been made and the work that still needs to be done to create a more inclusive and equitable industry for all.

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