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By Andee Brooker
October 10, 2017
I had the good fortune to stumble my way into the construction industry over 18 years ago as a low-level Safety Coordinator for Alberici Constructors.
I came from a manufacturing setting where I was an occupational health nurse and sometimes a safety auditor for the corporation I was employed by. Back then, I had no real construction expertise and only a small amount of safety experiences. From there, with great leadership and mentoring, I took on more responsibilities until I became one of Alberici’s Safety Directors about ten years ago.
I’m responsible for our automotive division, our mining division, as well as heavy civil and industrial processes. I am also our liaison within the industry with several associations, including TAUC – the Association of Union Constructors, IMPACT – Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust, and the ASSE/ANSI A10 committee. I am also active with NAWIC – the National Association of Women in Construction, and I am the co-chair and liaison for the OSHA-NAWIC Alliance.
I travel to a wide variety of projects across the United States and Mexico with occasional forays into Canada. My primary role is to be a liaison, a coach, and, sometimes, a change agent in the establishment and maintenance of a safe work environment and culture within our projects.
At times, I also have to be a real challenger to what I see when I perform site visits and talk to the workforce.
My biggest successes come when I see that people truly recognize the value safety and safe work has for them, their families, and their livelihood.
Kathleen's Piece of Advice
"Go for it! It’s a wild ride, one that will never bore you or get old. The sense of accomplishment when you have a breakthrough with someone or something is beyond description, and when you pass by a project that you worked your butt off on – WOW! It’s a rush!
I will use something NAWIC has been saying for years – believe in yourself. No one can stop you because there are a lot of us out there who have already broken most, if not all, the barriers you may face. Reach out to us.
Persevere with the strength of your convictions – in spite of challenges. There are too many benefits to give in and quit. Dare by taking that first step into the industry, you will have made the biggest leap of your life, and start the best career you could ever imagine."
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