KAI Build is proud to announce that it has been named the 2021 Breaking Barriers Contractor of the Year by the Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT) organization. KAI accepted the award during MOWIT’s Blue Collar Black Tie Awards Gala honoring and celebrating women in the trades on Sept. 17 at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 Grand Hall in St. Louis.
“KAI Build strives to give women opportunities to achieve higher levels of construction leadership through our hiring process and programs,” said KAI Build’s Director of Project Management Gyasi Haynes. “Our culture and our goal is to be the most diverse organization the construction industry has ever seen. We are excited to have such great women working at KAI who are leading the way for other women and minorities. We are grateful for all our women team members and all that they do to be a part of the mission and vision of KAI.”
Founded in 2008, MOWIT works to expand opportunities for women to enter and succeed in apprenticeship and careers in the construction and building trades in the greater St. Louis area. MOWIT works with employers, unions, educational organizations and other entities to increase women’s equal employment and working conditions.
The Breaking Barriers Contractor of the Year award is given to the nominee who can demonstrate programs, initiatives and efforts that have supported women entering and succeeding in these programs. Nominations were open to contractors that are signatory with any of the St. Louis area unions listed in the St. Louis Construction Cooperative’s Construction Careers handbook.
KAI Build, which is a member of The St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, has a workforce that includes 20 percent women, with 25 percent of women in leadership roles. KAI also reported a 20 percent increase in female workforce participation in the last year.
“Nothing beats their intentional programs to hire and support women, while going the extra mile to hire women for supervisory positions. They have shown themselves as excellent, honorable, diligent and committed to the woman mandate,” said MOWIT Board Member Rochelle Bonty.