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WIC Week and Women in Tile initiatives

For 26 years, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) has held Women in Construction (WIC) Week to celebrate and promote the role of women involved in the construction industry. This is a constantly-expanding event, with many local chapters observing it in engaging and creative ways. It is a great opportunity to introduce younger women to the  many roles for women in construction via high school presentations or jobsite tours and other events. This year, WIC Week takes place March 3-9. 

The theme for 2024 is “Keys to the Future.” Construction firms can show support for women employees or even attract new hires through WIC Week activities. 

This is the overview of the WIC Week virtual events and themes:

  • Sunday, March 3 – Virtual Kickoff
  • Monday, March 4 – Keys to the Future; DE&I Panel (virtual) 
  • Tuesday, March 5 – Getting into Construction 
  • Wednesday March 6 – Breaking Stereotypes 
  • Thursday, March 7 – Workplace Safety (virtual)
  • Friday, March 8 – Leadership in the Industry (virtual) 
  • Saturday, March 9 – A Call to Action

In addition to the virtual programs, at this writing, eight U.S. regions have planned their own events for their chapters. For instance, Southwest Missouri, Chapter 36 in the Midwest Region, is holding a Proclamation Ceremony on March 4, a Trivia Night on March 5, a Social Hour on March 7, WIC Week Lunch on March 8, and a Blood Drive, March 4-10. The Twin Ports/Iron Range Chapter 392 is holding a Jobsite Tour on March 6, Coffee and Conversation on March 8 and Hard Hat Happy Hour on March 9. In the Southeast Region, Greater Palm Beach Chapter 87 will hold a Paint & Sip Event on March 3, Robotics Demo & Tour on March 5, Boys & Girls Club New Facility Tour on March 6, Professional Development Luncheon March 7 and Career Mentorship Day with Xcel on March 9. 

Raven Hoffman

“To me, the importance of WIC Week is threefold,” said Raven Hoffman, NAWIC 2023-2034 National Vice President and Senior Estimator at Syverson Tile & Stone in Sioux Falls, S.D. “WIC Week helps showcase and remind us of the talents women bring to the construction industry, making us a more robust career field. Showcasing the many career paths in construction helps people realize the many facets available, and WIC Week gives us another platform to discuss the advantages of working in the construction industry. I strongly feel if we are not aware we can do something, we will never think of it as a possibility; WIC Week marketing gains public awareness of the potential for women not in the construction industry.”

Visit https://wicweek.org/#about-wic-week to learn more about WIC Week, its live, regional and virtual events, information about local chapters, and the work of NAWIC. 

Making mosaics, building skills

Last June, NTCA Five-Star Con-tractor Wirtz Quality Installations developed and administered a day program in the weeklong Camp NAWIC event held by the San Diego chapter of National Association of Women in Construction. The project, aimed at 12-18 year old girls – was to create 4″ x 4″ mosaic tile coasters. Wirtz employees and representatives guided participants in the project. NTCA also provided information on why ceramic tile installation is a great career choice for young women, and for those with design and artistic interests.

Inspired by this program, NTCA Director of Strategic Initiatives Amber Fox, a Women in Tile board member, is working to develop an instructional list for contractors who may want to offer a similar program to young people in their markets. It will include directions as well as a guide to materials needed: 1/4″ foamboard, pre-mixed thinset, grout, profiles and a peel and stick underlayment to finish and cushion the coasters.  

“We are supporting contractors in their local area with ways to make a grassroots difference in promoting tile to young people of Middle School to High School age,” Fox said. “We need local contractors to pick up the torch and carry it in their local markets.”

This initiative is developed and provided by Women in Tile – a community of like-minded women celebrating successes and providing camaraderie in the industry. It engages imagination and develops skills for any young person. Stay tuned – information on this initiative will be available later this year.

Little Hands Little Tiles

One currently-available training and education tool that can develop interest in tile for children of a very young age is the Little Hands Little Tiles mosaic kit. It was conceived by NTCA Member Megan Renk, Owner of Mosaix Tile Installation & Services, as a way to open up conversation and introduce children to the fun, artistry and creativity in the tile trade. NTCA Art Director Michelle Chapman brought the concept to life in these colorful kits, which contain pieces and instructions for a fun mosaic puzzle, appropriate for any age, but especially geared to young children. They also include an option to create a custom mosaic, while incorporating details about design and “installing” mosaics. 

The Little Hands Little Tiles kit is available at the NTCA store at www.tile-assn.com or at http://tinyurl.com/Little-Hands-Little-Tiles. Industry members are encouraged to distribute these puzzles in the community or give as gifts to inspire the next generation of tile artisans. The kits can be customized with contractor logos and contact information on the back of each puzzle. These kits were developed by – and all proceeds benefit – Women In Tile.   

Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN

Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor.

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