Rooted in the Southeast, Power UP Inc. is a one-of-a-kind non-profit organization that is consistently at the forefront of removing barriers that have prohibited the development of a diversified and strong workforce for the construction industry. On Monday, October 23, Power UP founder Dr. Mittie Cannon was a special guest on the Fox Business Network’s Varney & Company.
“Women do want these jobs in construction,” Dr. Cannon told the show’s host, Stuart Varney.
Watch Fox Business’ full 2-minute interview with Dr. Cannon.
One statistic cited during the Fox Business interview was that women working in construction account for only a very small percentage of the entire U.S. workforce – at just over 1 percent. Through Power UP and its partnerships with industry leaders throughout the Southeast and other parts of the country, Dr. Cannon focuses on introducing young girls and their mothers to the many viable opportunities available in the skilled trades – particularly welders and pipefitters.
By day, Dr. Cannon 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.
Dr. 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.
Power UP: It’s a Mother-Daughter Thing!
Each spring, Power UP hosts its signature event, Power UP: It’s a Mother-Daughter Thing! This unique program was developed for middle and high school-age girls and their mothers (or female guardians). The event is designed to educate, engage and encourage mothers and daughters to explore career opportunities in the skilled trades through fun hands-on activities.
Coming up on its fourth year in March 2019, 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 is making plans to bringing the event to the Carolinas in 2019-2020. Check out Power UP: It’s a Mother-Daughter thing! Unique Event Introduces Teen Girls to Careers in Construction.
In recent months, Power UP Inc. has developed some additional programs. An example is a one-year pilot program with a local school district in Alabama. Following the pilot, Power UP will continue to connect with these girls up to 12th grade through additional sessions. Power UP will provide a certificate upon full completion of all sessions, and those who fulfill the select requirements will also receive a credential.
For middle-schoolers, PowerUP has introduced workshops designed for small groups of 8th grade girls to help prepare them for careers in construction. Power UP workshop subjects include coding and electronics, safety, heavy equip operations, diversity and inclusion, and financial literacy. Power UP recently held a Heavy Equip Ops workshop for a small cohort of 8th grade girls in Carrollton, Ga.
“Power UP is in the process of taking this workshop to Arkansas and other states, and we look forward to being in the Carolinas soon,” said Dr. Cannon. “It is exciting to hear the feedback from the girls following their sessions.”
Finally, wanting to introduce kids to construction at a very young age, Power UP is planning a session with a group of five-year-olds.
Each month, Power UP recognizes the success and diversity of the female workforce within the construction industry by highlighting an individual on its Women in Construction page. Check it out and learn how these women, along with young students, continue to improve the diversity and status in the construction industry.
For more information, visit https://www.poweruploud.org/programs or email firstname.lastname@example.org.