Job fair gives women new employment opportunities

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Labor unions in Kansas City, Missouri are projecting a busy summer of construction, and they are looking to hire a local workforce. The city is specifically reaching out to recruit women.

The city requires that projects over $300,000 have crews that are at least 10 percent minority, and two percent female.

Day in and day out single mother of five, Annette Hall, directs traffic on road construction sites.

“Opportunity came up to get into construction, $14 an hour?  I jumped on it. And now I'm making $28.70 an hour,” said Hall.

She says this job took her family from homelessness to a secure place in the middle class.

“It pays all my bills, great benefits great pension plan.  I would recommend it to any woman, you have to roll up your sleeves woman up and do it,” said Hall.

Hall is convinced that a lot more women could earn what they are worth if they would only give a career in construction a chance.

The streetcar line is causing a bit of a building boom in the city.

"There has been a lot of incentives to bring development in KC so with that you are seeing a ton of luxury apartments coming up and down; the one Power and Light building, and they are already talking about two Power and Light buildings. You got the KC Power and Light renovation building, just a lot of opportunities," said Alise Martiny with KC Buildings and Trade.

Labor unions and employers are courting women as bricklayers, roofers, pipefitters and more. No experience necessary. The unions will even pay and give you benefits while you are training.

“It’s construction.  If you like working in the cold if you like getting up early, and working with your hands, it’s a great opportunity,” said Hall.

The old school idea is that these jobs are for men, however the women of World War II proved otherwise, and today more and more share Hall’s enthusiastic "can do" attitude for construction.

“I know you can do it because I did it,” she said.

If you didn't make it to the job fair Saturday, you can still register for construction jobs with the city by calling 816-221-6175 during business hours.