Hensel Phelps Invites WINTER to Tour UCI Health – Irvine Project

Wednesday March 13, 2024

Every year, Hensel Phelps celebrates Women in Construction Week by highlighting and honoring the invaluable contributions of women within our organization and the industry as a whole through panel discussions, professional development workshops, networking sessions and team-building events. We use social media platforms to share our female employees’ stories and experiences working in various roles, recognizing their achievements and inspiring others to pursue careers in this field. Ultimately, celebrating Women in Construction Week acknowledges the importance of diversity and empowering women to thrive in a traditionally male-dominated field.

To round out a successful 2024 Women in Construction Week in our Southern California Region, General Superintendent Kasie Bowden invited WINTER (Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles) to tour the UCI Health – Irvine project, a $710 million healthcare campus she is currently managing for the University of California, Irvine.

WINTER is a pre-apprenticeship non-profit work development program whose mission is to train, educate and prepare women for transformative careers in the construction industry. The organization’s goals are to increase the percentage of women working in union construction and the building trades industry, promote construction careers for low-income women of color and prepare low-income women to attain the skills needed to become competitive in the workforce.

“Women don’t have the privilege to be average.”

Chris Vargas, Apprenticeship Readiness Instructor & Program Coordinator

Eight women from WINTER’s current cohort engaged with female Hensel Phelps employees and multiple trade partners working on the construction of the UCI Health – Irvine project, including Enclos, CSI Electrical Contractors, Sharpe Interior Systems, Pan-Pacific Mechanical and Control Air. For the first 30 minutes, the women of WITNER engaged in invaluable conversations with on-site skilled trade partners to gain deeper insights into the day-to-day experiences of working on a large commercial construction project. These discussions served as an educational opportunity for these women to learn from the practical wisdom and expertise of seasoned professionals who have navigated the complexities of the construction field. Through these interactions, the women gained firsthand knowledge about the intricacies of various construction trades, learned about potential challenges and rewards associated with different roles and gathered invaluable tips and advice for honing their craft.

The majority of the event took place on-site, where Kasie led the women on a transformative tour of the UCI Heath – Irvine site. This immersive encounter provided the women with firsthand exposure to the dynamic and multifaceted nature of construction work. As they navigated through the bustling construction site, the women witnessed various trades in action, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the collaborative efforts required to bring a project to fruition. Engaging with seasoned tradespeople allowed the women to gain invaluable knowledge, learn best practices and ask questions about techniques and methodologies used in their respective trades. Ultimately, the collaboration between WINTER and Hensel Phelps empowered these women to embark on their own successful careers in the construction industry.