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By Andee Brooker
October 10, 2017
I’ve always had in inclination toward design and construction. Even as a kid growing up in Kansas, I was fascinated by the structures around me and constantly wondering how they were built. The summer between my junior and senior years at Brigham Young University, I had the opportunity to intern with Hensel Phelps at the Sacramento City Hall project. I loved it. I loved the people, the project, and the responsibilities.
That summer internship also went a long way in helping me figure out how much I enjoyed the hands-on aspect of building. I accepted an offer from Hensel Phelps in January 2005, and started with the company full-time as a Field Engineer on the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center.
I was able to work on the project essentially from start to finish. The value of being a new hire and seeing a project come to fruition with the owner moving in is why I started in the industry. I then had the opportunity to work temporarily in Clearwater Beach, Florida, as a Field Engineer at the Sandpearl Resort. Meeting people from other districts allowed me to develop bonds and friendships that I could bring with me back to Northern California.
Upon returning to California, I transitioned into the role of Office Engineer for a short time on two projects: San Jose Central Service Yard and San Quentin Central Health Services. Shortly thereafter, I was promoted to Project Engineer on a Secure Connector Bridge at San Francisco International Airport. In the same role, I moved over to Skyline College, a project that included multiple new buildings as well as campus wide sitework, utility upgrades, security improvements, and new at-grade parking stalls. While I started my next project, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center as a Project Engineer, I became an Area Superintendent and then Project Superintendent.
Most recently, I have completed the Alameda East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, CA, and am starting up an OSHPD project at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, CA, which includes the build-out of two floors in an operational hospital.
During my 13 years in the industry, I’ve had a chance to work on a variety of project types including transportation, healthcare, corrections, education, and aviation. As a Project Superintendent, I’m in charge of the daily coordination and supervision of employee and subcontractor activities. However, making sure everyone is safe is my top priority. I chose the path of a superintendent because my love of working in the field and with the craft has not lessened since my very first project.
Ciara's Piece of Advice
"Be okay with not being perfect, as women we tend to try to be perfect to a fault. Don’t be so hard on yourself, you can’t control everything. Find an advocate, someone who has your interests in mind, and helps to push you to your ultimate goals."
established women in construction
Women in Construction
Established Women in Construction - Nancy Novak
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