MENASHA, Wis. — Building a picnic table may one day prove to be a gateway to a career in construction.
The table is part of an event hosted by Miron Construction aimed at giving girls like Jaci Volp a hands-on look at potential careers in construction.
“There aren’t many women in construction, so Miron doing this, they’re encouraging women to go and find something they’re interested in in construction,” she said.
Volp was one of two dozen seventh to tenth grade girls who got a one-day inside look at how a construction company operates and the available jobs.
Volp has a little extra knowledge, he dad works for the company.
“He got me interested in construction,” the Fremont teen said. “It’s fun to come out here and do all these different skills.”
For Miron, and the industry, it’s also planting a seed when it comes to cultivating a future workforce, said Dave Walsh, vice president of Human Resources.
“We don’t have enough women in construction. It’s hard to find people to work in construction anyway,” he said. “ Right now [...] only about 3% of our field force is females. For us, it’s an open pipeline of people that can come work construction.”
The event is also intended to be fun.
“To be able to give them that opportunity to just look at it and have a chance to see what it feels like is very exciting for all of us,” Walsh said. “Both the girls and the mentors who are here with them.”
That’s mentors like Polly Krueger, a laborer and on site risk manager who has been with Miron for 25 years.
“I’m hoping that we get one person, two people, interested today,” she said. “There are so many different branches they can take. The opportunities are endless.”
That could someday be participants like Volp, who is still weighing her career options.
“Construction has been an interest of mine. I’ve thought of being a mason. Probably my dream job right now is being an architect,” she said. “I’m just really interested.”