According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 the U.S. construction industry was made up of only 9% women. In the future, this will not be the case if Kristia Davern has anything to do with it. Kristia is committed to bringing more women into the construction field and retaining them. As the Minneapolis - St. Paul President of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Kristia leads a group of about 20 women from all areas of the construction industry and oversees professional, educational and business opportunities. “I like getting to know lots of different people at all levels and ranges within construction. I can learn about different problems different people have in the industry and hear their perspectives.”
One of Kristia’s favorite NAWIC events is Block Kids, a national building program competition that introduces children to the construction industry. Organization members go into schools and assist third and fourth graders as they build structures. “We let them use their imagination to build whatever they want, however they want to build it. We let them be the architect, engineer, & contractor for their structure.” NAWIC also provides college scholarships to students who are pursuing a degree in the construction field.
In addition to NAWIC, Kristia is active in the Mars City Facility Operations Challenge- a science, technology, engineering and mathematics program geared toward introducing high school and community college students to the building sciences. The online initiative provides students with a real world simulation of what it’s like to work in the facilities management profession. Kristia is working with a team to create the scenarios and expert solutions that students will use to measure against their operational success. The nationwide scenarios she is helping to develop will roll out hopefully sometime in the Fall.
Kristia brings her passion and commitment for building to her work as a Planner/Scheduler in the Facilities Management department. Having started her career as an undergrad at the University of Minnesota, she worked at the Sign Shop before managing the operations and facilities for the East Bank Libraries, based in Walter Library. During this time, Kristia obtained her certificate in Construction Management through the University of Minnesota.
Asked how she first got interested in the construction field, Kristia talks about her experience remodeling homes in Kentucky with over 1,000 students over the course of her college summers.
Kristia and her husband Mike are in the process of adopting a child. For more information on their adoption journey, you can check out their blog kristiamikeadopt.com. Kristia likes having met lots of families and couples going through the same process. In her free time, she enjoys ballroom dancing, baking, knitting and gardening. Be sure to ask her about her pickles!