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Building a Construction Career

 

Alicia Andrescavage is a project engineer at our MMC Contractors New Jersey office. Her diverse construction experience includes serving in a variety of roles for engineering and construction firms as well as mechanical contractors.

 

Instead of wearing suits or business casual clothing, I wear steel-toed boots, a hi-vis safety vest, hard hat, and safety glasses. Instead of sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer all day, I travel to various sites, coordinating and collaborating with stakeholders to ensure the safe delivery of projects within the schedule and budget.  I wear these items and do these things because I was never raised to believe that there were limits to what I could do because I am female. I chose to become a woman in the construction industry.

I didn’t always consider a career path in the construction industry. At a young age, I played dress-up and pretended to be a teacher – a traditionally female career. As I grew and advanced in school, I excelled in math and science courses. The dinner conversations shifted from general topics to me peppering my Dad with questions about what occurred on the construction site that day. It was this exposure and my classes throughout high school that led me to attend college at a science and technology university for mechanical engineering – a traditionally male major.

Since graduation, I have worked for engineering and construction management firms and mechanical contractors in a variety of positions. In these roles, I have worked alongside people who have had pivotal roles in constructing structures including high-rises that impact prominent city skylines; professional sports stadiums; hospitals and pharmaceutical facilities; substations, transmission, and distribution lines for people to receive electricity; and replacing the air conditioning for the gorillas at a zoo. These people, ranging from company presidents, vendors and subcontractors to union employees, taught me how to size pipe and select the proper piece of equipment, how to take-off, budget, and schedule a project, and how to negotiate a subcontract. Their teaching was never dependent on my being male or female; it only mattered that I was a competent person who was willing to learn and who brought valuable knowledge and contributions to the table, building a working relationship of familiarity and trust. 

It is through those relationships that I have the opportunity to be a part of the MMC Contractors family and part of the project team that is building a replacement hospital on a greenfield site in southern New Jersey. I am an equal and respected member of the team whose decisions will have a lasting impacts and benefit thousands of people on a daily basis. I chose to have a fulfilling and rewarding career when I chose to become a woman in the construction industry.