In today’s Local Builders Association Spotlight, we’re highlighting an awesome organization that has been helping to progress the construction industry for over 20 years.
There used to be a widespread (and false) perception that contract work and construction was strictly a man’s job.
Well, thanks in part to awesome organizations like the Association of Women Contractors (AWC), that way of thinking is long gone.
The AWC works towards empowering women business owners and service providers, and with over 200 members, they are doing great work in Minnesota.
Let’s break down what the AWC does and how they impact the community.
The History of the AWC
The AWC was started back in 1995, and while that wasn’t that long ago, their impact has had a wide range.
Compromised of reliable professionals and partners that you can count on, the AWC wants nothing more than to help you succeed.
Through their core values — which are: enriching their membership, constructing industry leadership, collaboration, and strong advocacy — the AWC has helped more women contractors and construction business owners succeed.
The AWC works hard for the promotion of women-owned businesses in Minnesota, and while their focus and core services are directed at women business owners in construction, they do have membership categories that include non-women businesses as well.
But the AWC doesn’t just work in a promotional capacity to highlight and show off your great work; they also connect their members with influential industry leaders and help you find opportunities to continue to grow your network.
The AWC also promises to represent your voice in local policymaking decisions.
The Services of the AWC
The AWC provides a wide range of services, including the following, as listed on their website:
- Educational programming to develop technical, business management, and leadership skills
- Professional and personal relationships to broaden and develop your understanding and knowledge of the construction industry
- Visibility and contract opportunities for your business through networking with other members and partner organizations
- Additional company marketing for you through listing on our website, our social media outlets and the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota directory
- Monitoring of large-scale public projects to ensure inclusion of women contractors
- Annual scholarships to females entering the construction industry either through the academy pathway or the apprenticeship pathway
- Assistance on issues of equitable contracting with public entities
- Assistance in certification application
The AWC also works with a lot of great, local organizations — acting on their members’ behalf in their interactions with them. These organizations include the following: U.S. Bank Stadium, MetCouncil, MAC, Building Jobs Coalition, State of Minnesota Office of Equity, Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, MnDOT, and the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors.
The AWC offers four different memberships. Here is a list of those memberships, including a brief description of what that membership includes:
Women Business Owner (WBO)
A WBO member has one vote when it comes to the association
The Woman Business Owner is those businesses who are majority owned and controlled by women in the construction industry. This membership level is reserved for any company operating with the capacity to design, supply to, construct, build, demolish, or repair any facet of a construction project or whose work is otherwise predominantly performed on a construction site
Also entitled to one vote, the Associate Membership is allowed for individuals and businesses that have an interest in the construction industry and in furthering the principles and purpose of the AWC.
Holding one vote as well, the Community Based Organization Membership is made up of non-profit organizations that are interested in the construction industry.
The Government Agency Membership is allowed for government agencies that are working with procuring construction services and furthering equity in contracting practices. Once again, they are entitled to one vote.
Keep Checking Back on Our Blog For More Spotlights!
The AWC is one of many associations that do some fantastic work within the construction and contracting industry.
If you’re looking for an association to join to help get your name out or to learn more about how you can improve your services, take a look at some of our past Local Builders Association Spotlights posts.
And make sure to check out our blog weekly for new posts!