Construction Academy for women sets up graduates for success

Construction Academy for women sets up graduates for success

By Caroline Carpenter / ADOT Communications
April 2, 2020

It’s not a surprise to most that women are underrepresented in the construction industry. Across the country, about 9 percent of construction workers are women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Recently, ADOT’s first-ever Construction Academy exclusively for women looked to buck many stereotypes, such as construction being for those without a college educations and that blue collar jobs don’t pay well.

Anyone talking to the group of women who attended the two-week academy would learn differently.

The class of  10 included a former police officer, women with college degrees and those with backgrounds in marketing and customer service. Graduates can expect starting salaries of $14 to $24 per hour.

If the women attending the academy were ever unsure about their path forward, they only had to look to instructor Patricia McKinley to see what is possible. Patricia graduated from a Construction Academy a few years ago and now owns her own trucking company, KHAVL Transport.

Attendees learn about reading blueprints and construction plans. They came away with flagger and OSHA10 safety certifications. Graduates learned construction math and were prepped to take the Commercial Driver License test. Teachers also helped students with career guidance and resume preparation.

Academies are on hold due to the current public health situation, but those interested in future academies can visit They are open to members of economically disadvantaged groups, including women, veterans, members of minority groups and those who are unemployed. 

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