In honor of Women in Construction Week I want to recognize how a handful of women started the AWC. The founding members were trail blazers at a time when women owned business in this industry was rare and females in the workforce nearly none. Now there is an entire week set aside thanks to NAWIC. WIC week is penned as an opportunity to share appreciation, celebrate our diversity, and facilitate connections in our industry. 

In 1995, a group of about ten highway heavy woman owned construction companies decided to start the Association of Women Contractors after attending training at MnDOT about empowerment and discussing a book about finding your power. These women knew they wanted to do something to empower other women owned businesses in construction. There was a hole and they wanted to fill it – yes pun intended. 

The AWC has grown to over 220 members through a commitment to each other and what I like to call an energy system that took on a life of its own. We have 11 new members since January 1st – more than one new member a week. At the 2022 Annual Luncheon we heard from so many new attendees that they have never seen such a drive to connect and assist each other. That is something I saw within my first 6 months here – this group is different than others. This group is positive and wants to lift others upward. 

I highly recommend taking some time to view the presentation from our founding member LouAnne Loewen on why they started the AWC – what was their vision. This WIC week is a great time to remember where we came from as we look to where we are going. I celebrate all of you and am forever grateful for those founders 27 years ago for taking a chance on women owned businesses in this industry. 

— B