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WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION

March is Women’s History Month, which begins fittingly with the celebration of Women in Construction (WIC) week throughout our industry. Each year, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and its thousands of members across America take this occasion to celebrate the driven and innovative women in our industry.

At Sundt, we’re proud to be a part of the celebration.

This month we’re highlighting a few of the many skilled women across our company, with a special focus on our pipe fitter and heavy equipment operator apprentices. We chatted with Tia Begay, Codi Crane and Letrisha Tuni to discuss why they chose a Sundt apprenticeship program and what the industry can do to encourage more women to do the same.

“Growing up, my dad owned a small landscaping company. I spent a lot of summers playing in the dirt with him and my brothers. I never considered construction as a career until my brother convinced me to get my CDL and become a truck driver. The rest is history. I love dirt work, it feels like home.”

Ariel Goodwin, Heavy Equipment Operator

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TIA BEGAY

Pipe fitter Apprentice, Arizona

Tia grew up surrounded by a family of pipe fitters, and developed a curiosity about what a life in the skilled trades could look like for her. She got her start as a pipe fitter helper, which led to her learning about Sundt’s apprenticeship program. Tia joined the apprenticeship program in order to provide a better life for her and her son. “When I was growing up, I didn’t think a career in construction was possible for women. I didn’t think I could ever be a welder or pipe fitter. I think most important thing the industry can do is give more visibility to women who are already doing great things in their field so that the next generation of women know that a career path in the skilled trades is not only possible for them, but encouraged.”

CODI CRANE

Heavy Equipment Operator Apprentice, Texas

Codi was drawn to a career in construction because of the challenging — yet rewarding — nature of the work. Her dedication to the craft and unmistakable skill didn’t go unnoticed by her Sundt supervisors, and she was asked to join the Heavy Equipment Operator apprenticeship program. “I’m a mom to a toddler, and I also work in the field full-time. Most apprenticeship programs require you to dedicate your own time, money and resources for night classes after working a full day shift. But Sundt’s programs only require us to dedicate a single week per quarter, all of our travel expenses and lodging are covered, and apprentices get paid our regular wages for class time. This is a game-changer for me and so many of my classmates.”

LETRISHA TUNI

Pipe fitter Apprentice, Arizona

When Letrisha’s cousin-sister Tia Begay told her she should consider a career in the trades, she was skeptical about if she could make it work alongside her responsibilities as a mom. But once she learned about Sundt’s commitment to supporting women in the skilled trades, she decided to give it a shot. She’s now been with a mining project out in Patagonia, and recently joined the pipe fitting apprenticeship program in order to grow her career. “Being a mother is often a huge barrier to entering the industry because we can’t work the long hours that keep us away from our family. Sundt is making it easier for women to get into the trades because they value work-life balance and offer flexibility in our schedules and programming for the apprenticeships. This flexibility allows me to spend time with my daughters and achieve my career goals at the same time.”

Interested in pursuing an apprenticeship? Our craft training and apprenticeship programs utilize the NCCER’s nationally recognized curriculum for all training programs including heavy equipment operation, industrial carpentry, pipe fitting, welding and ironworking.

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