A Letter from Our Executive Director, Barb Lau


Twenty Years!!  That is incredible to me.  Do you remember what you were doing 20 years ago?  I was still single. I was the Executive Assistant to the President for Wheeler Hildebrandt an interior design firm.  I was also attending night school at Concordia for a BA in Organizational Management and Communications.

Much of what was happening in my life 20 years ago truly shaped who I am today.  Similarly this organization was created and has shaped the construction industry business demographics over the past 20 years.   Through education and networking for our business owners to scholarships for females entering the industry AWC has been instrumental in affecting positive change.   With some diligent research you will see statistics throughout this report that demonstrate the results of this organization over 20 years.

This past year AWC has expanded in many ways.  Physically we have taken on an additional 350 s.f. of office space and renovated our entire footprint to accommodate an additional employee and added a state of the art training/conference room.  So what is the room for?  We began a monthly “members only” lunch and learn training.  This training will be limited to 18 attendees and will be on a variety of topics that target a more focused selection of the members than our large workshops will.

The AWC Scholarship program also expanded to awarding female apprenticeship applicants.  Two of our awards went to apprentices this inaugural year – a pipe fitter and a sheet metal worker.  The apprenticeship awardees receive 50% of their award immediately and the other 50% after they complete their first step of the program.

Also new for the AWC is that we are a recipient for two different grant programs.  First we were named as one of the City of Minneapolis’ CPED – Business Technical Assistant Program providers.  In this role AWC proposed to assist women business owners in the City of Minneapolis area with business development and certifications.  Second we have been named as one of the Department of Labor and Industry’s WESA grantees.  AWC will develop a Mentorship program for female apprentices.

Change and growth are the keys to success.  I’ve shared with you my 20 years ago and the AWC 20 years ago.  I am sharing the perfect quote to inspire you all.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the thing you didn’t do than the things you did.”  Mark Twain.

Barb Lau

AWC Executive Director, Barb Lau
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