Sheila and Amy were thrilled to introduce West Virginia as the 19th state to officially form a local chapter and stated they were excited to see where WV goes as they develop their chapter. Sheila and Amy emphasized the mission of WofA is to empower women in the asphalt industry. as spoke on many initiatives currently underway on the national level including podcast and webinar series called WhereWeBelong
and Lead and Inspire
respectively. Podcast episodes depict women in the asphalt industry and their experiences as they have grown through the industry. Webinar episodes covering topics of communication, mental health, recruitment and retention. Amy and Sheila also mentioned a Mentoring program, where to help encourage newcomers in the industry and give them a fellow woman within the industry to help them.
US Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the newest member of the WV WofA chapter and an outstanding advocate for women and girls across the mountain state, addressed the audience offering encouragement and guidance to all the women in a predominantly male industry. Capito joined WofA, not only to support Women in the Asphalt industry but because she herself is a woman of asphalt. Capito, as the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee and her continued work with Infrastructure funding views her involvement as intertwined with the asphalt industry. Senator Capito related some of her experience in the political arena to women in the construction field, as only the 43rd women senator in the nation when she was elected in 2014, and currently one of 26 out of 100 senators. Capito also discussed her initiatives with 5th grade girls around the state through the West Virginia Girls Rise Up
program and its goals to inspire the next generation of female leaders in WV. Capito commented that it would be great to take some WofA members to the schools and through the Girls Rise Up program encourage young girls to investigate our industry. She echoed the mantra “If you can see me, you can be me” and said the best way to inspire the youth is to show them who you are. Senator Capito closed stating “I look forward to seeing this organization grow in our state, and the impact they will make in our infrastructure sector.”
Thank you to all those who attended the luncheon and thank you to the sponsors of this event.