This blog was originally published on in March 2018 and is reprinted with permission. Power-UP-2018_Group-Photo_Girl-Participants-300As Women in Construction Week was celebrated across the country earlier this month (March 4-10, 2018), several middle and high school-age girls and their mothers (or female guardians) were introduced to the idea of a career in construction through a unique event in the Southeast themed, Power UP: It's a Mother-Daughter Thing! Now in its third year, this one-of-a-kind event – founded in Birmingham – is a key component of Dr. Mittie Cannon's personal vision for familiarizing girls with the construction industry at an early age, so that they are aware of the opportunities available to them. “Power UP” has gained so much traction in Alabama, Dr. Cannon has hopes of bringing the event to the Carolinas in 2019. "The topic of women in construction has always been true to my heart, and I want Power UP to be an industry model. Women are an untapped resource in our industry and can be the solution to construction's growing workforce challenges," said Dr. Cannon. Dr.MittieCannonDr. Cannon started her career in the construction industry as an electrical helper. She worked in various parts of the Carolinas in the early days of her career. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Cannon recruited and mentored the first female welder in the history of the ABC National Craft Championships to take top honors in welding. She received her doctorate in educational leadership from University of Phoenix. Her passion for sharing her love of the industry with other females led her to start the 501(c)(3) non-profit youth organization, Power UP Inc., for which Power UP: It's a Mother-Daughter Thing! is the signature event. By day, she is manager of workforce development for Wood, a global leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets with offices throughout the Southeast, including an office in Greenville, S.C. PowerUp-1For Dr. Cannon, expanding Power UP's reach beyond Alabama is the next obvious step. "The only way to reach young girls outside of Birmingham is to take Power UP to them," said Dr. Cannon. "We now have a successful model to work from, so we are in a perfect position to replicate it in other states. I do not believe there is an event anywhere in the country that's remotely similar to ours in terms of the way it's set up and administered. Power UP is not tied to a particular corporation or organization; it was founded by an individual who is supported by many volunteers. Another key differentiator is required parental participation." In 2017, Power UP: It's a Mother-Daughter Thing! was recognized nationally as the recipient of the ABC's Top Chapter | Best Practice Champion Award at the annual Conference of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). "Our goal with Power UP is to inspire mothers and daughters to be empowered by the construction industry. To accomplish this, not only do we reach out locally, but also extend our relationship reach to contractors, owners, and successful women from across the United States. In addition to our many sponsors and exhibitors – some local, some national – successful female (and male) construction industry executives from around the country come to our event as volunteer speakers or panelists, or simply to network. For the girls, there's nothing more impactful than meeting role models who have had successful journeys in the construction industry," she said. PowerUp-2Dr. Cannon elaborated on the level of industry buy-in for Power UP. "So many people are more than willing to share their knowledge and love for the industry with a new generation to help ensure that our future workforce is made up of the best and brightest. They realize it's a win-win for everyone – owners, contractors, educators and the community – and want to be a part of it. This collaborative effort creates partnerships at all levels and removes barriers as factors in developing a diversified and stronger construction industry workforce." Power Up: It's a Mother-Daughter Thing! seeks to create dialogue between young women and their mothers about these opportunities through: - Educating girls and their mothers on pathways into the construction industry - Engaging girls and their mothers through one-on-one dialogue with women in the industry - Exploring the construction industry with hands-on activities that reflect real-world situations Learn more about Power UP: It's a Mother-Daughter Thing! by visiting the website and Facebook page. Read the full article here.


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  1. Verna Perry | Apr 24, 2018

    Love it! I am in the process of developing a women’s apprenticeship program and would love to add this segment to our training program! I will look forward to an opportunity to visit the program!

    The Carpenter’s Daughter

    Verna Perry, Executive Director

    Pine Bluff, Arkansas

  2. Auntaria Johnson | Mar 22, 2018
    AWESOME! I wish we can start something like this here in South Florida. Keep up the good work!

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