How Rochester NY women say they started construction careers – Democrat & Chronicle

Dry Wall Contractor

Amorette Miller
 |  Correspondent

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Melissa Geska’s first encounter with construction was working for a family-owned company and watching her dad, who learned from his father in Jamaica. 

Now, Geska is the sole owner of U.S. Ceiling, a designated Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise in western New York that specializes in commercial projects.

The 19th Ward native said that women have all the inherent abilities and gifts that lend themselves well to construction careers.

“We think strategically and can break things down and problem solve,” she said.

Geska, who is of Caribbean heritage, said she feels a responsibility to create opportunities for women and people from other underrepresented groups in a male-dominated industry.

As of February 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that women make up 49.7% of the total workforce in the US — basically half.

In the construction sector, by contrast, the statistics are drastically different. 

Preliminary U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for February show that 13.9% of the 7.6 million employed construction workers are women, said Gary Steinberg, an economist for the agency who is also from Brighton.

By comparison, women filled 74% of public education jobs at the beginning of this year, he noted.

Construction statistics tend to be general said Kate Krug, executive VP at N.E.W, which stands for Nontraditional Employment for Women, a pre-apprentice program based in New York City.

The federal data includes project managers, engineers and architects, said Krug.

“For those who work with hands on their tools, the percentage of women is much lower when you look closer,” Krug said. 

She estimates that one in every ten construction workers is a woman.

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Twenty-five-year carpenter Eva Lowery worked in a Norwegian fish factory as a teenager before she moved to the Rochester area.

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Source: https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/2022/05/24/how-rochester-ny-women-say-they-started-construction-careers/9676102002/

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