The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
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October 2017


Get connected to the latest news from NAWIC Committees.

NAWIC Founders Scholarship Foundation

By Yasmine Branden, CCA, NFSF Administrator
NFSF: Your Partner in Building Our Workforce

Congratulations to the newly installed chapter boards! The start of the new NAWIC year brings many opportunities to include the important work of the NAWIC Founders Scholarship Foundation (NFSF) in chapter and regional events.

What is NFSF? NFSF was established in 1963 by NAWIC as a means to help students pay for a construction-related program. Both construction trades and undergraduate programs are eligible to receive scholarships. We are a 509(c)(3) designated organization, meaning contributions are tax deductible as charitable donations.

Who runs NFSF? NFSF has four trustees who are the four most recent NAWIC Past National Presidents (not including the Immediate Past President). This year’s trustees are Cindy Johnsen, CBT, CDS, CIT; Yasmine A. Branden, CCA (Administrator); Sandy Field, CBT, CIT; and Riki Lovejoy, CBT, CIT.

What does NFSF do? We administer chapter scholarships and NFSF awards. We work with chapters to establish scholarships within NFSF or transfer existing chapter scholarships to NFSF. We are happy to help you reach out to programs to increase the pool of applicants. Every year we have scholarships we can’t award because we don’t have applicants!

Are there deadlines? Applications for NFSF administration of scholarships are due Feb. 15, 2018.  Student applications are due Feb. 28, 2018. This allows the trustees to review the applications and make awards by mid-April.

Where is the scholarship application? The application for the 2018 awards will be posted shortly. Chapters will be notified when the new application is posted on the website. We’ll also post a link to the application in the Connection.

Where do I send chapter scholarship funds for NFSF? Please mail to the Administrator for deposit:

Yasmine A. Branden, CCA
2821 NE 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97212

Look to future issues of the Connection for updates and additional information on the Foundation. Oh, and visit our link:

Strategic Planning

By Cindy Johnsen, CBT, CDS, CIT, Strategic Planning Chair
Do you have a strategic plan or just a budget?

All chapters have a budget (annual operational plan) so they know what financially they can plan for during the year. Are you ready for the next step? A strategic plan will allow you to plan for 1-3 years into the future so your chapter can make choices on what it wants to accomplish. The process of planning strategically will allow your chapter to be more successful.

We are fortunate to have Tecker International consulting the national board on their strategic plan. Tecker has on its website many videos on strategic planning and leadership development. I encourage you to go to and look at its video library to help guide your chapter towards implementing a strategic plan or tuning up your current one. The videos are short and will guide you through developing a strategic plan and then working the plan—the process of planning strategically! 

If you need any assistance, please contact Strategic Planning Chair Cindy Johnsen at or co-chair Connie Leipard at


By Kathy Dobson, OSHA/NAWIC Alliance Co-Chair

Our alliance with OSHA is entering its fourth year and is slated for renewal, hopefully by the end of the year. The renewal package should go down to the Office of the Assistant Secretary (OAS) for review and approval in mid-late September. It is slowly but surely making its way through the process. Once we have approval, we can begin to discuss signing dates. Each month the Alliance committee will bring you up-to-date information regarding “all things OSHA.” We also have a couple of webinar topics under consideration, so keep that in mind.

OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary appointed.
Loren Sweatt joined the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on July 24. Sweatt joins the agency from the U.S. House of Representatives where she served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the Committee on Education and the Workforce for the last 15 years. In this role, Sweatt handled workplace safety issues before the Committee to include OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. In her new role as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Sweatt will be the second in command responsible for the oversight of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor, including construction, general industry, agriculture and maritime operations. At the time of this writing, there is no appointed OSHA Assistant Secretary.  

OSHA partners share tips for effective safety and health programs

NAWIC was the first alliance participant to pledge support for OSHA’s first Safe + Sound Week. As part of our efforts, Kathi Dobson, co-chair of the OSHA/NAWIC Alliance committee was interviewed. You can click on the links below to access her interview.

From June 12-18, more than 100 organizations, many of which participate in OSHA’s Cooperative Programs, partnered with the agency for the first Safe + Sound Week promoting workplace safety and health programs. Kathi Dobson of the National Association of Women in Construction (an Alliance Program participant) and safety director at Alberici Constructors in St. Louis, led her company’s efforts to find and fix hazards before they caused injuries. These efforts included workers performing walkarounds to identify hazards before the start of each workday, and management tracking trends and incidents so that they can better respond to hazards. Learn more about Alberici’s safety journey and their tips for starting a safety and health program here.





OSHA Proposes Extension to Compliance Deadline for Crane Operator Certification Requirements

OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to extend the employer’s responsibility to ensure crane operator competency and enforcement for crane operator certification to Nov. 10, 2018. OSHA proposed a delay of the enforcement date to address stakeholder concerns over the operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. Comments may be submitted by Sept. 29 either electronically, at, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details and more information.




 OSHA’s Mobile-Friendly Publication on Training Requirements is Easy to Use on the Job

OSHA’s comprehensive guide to Training Requirements in OSHA Standards is a valuable reference to help employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors comply with the law and keep workers safe. However, at more than 250 pages, the printed version can be cumbersome to carry on some jobsites. That’s why the guide is available in digital (MOBI and EPUB) formats; it can be read on a smartphone or tablet and easily searched for the standards that apply to specific industries or activities. Visit OSHA’s website to download a copy.


We will be reporting on silica, the updated standard and any new information we receive regularly during the year.

As of this writing, OSHA has indicated that they are moving forward with enforcement of the new silica standard, effective September 23, 2017. If you have an exposure to silica or if you have employees who work around others who work with silica, you need to have a plan. 

Basics for your Silica Exposure Control Plan (from a great colleague, Abby Ferri, CSP, of The Ferri Group)

  1. Identify tasks with respirable crystalline silica exposure.
  2. Compare these tasks to OSHA’s Table 1.
  3. Update your respiratory protection program, if needed.
  4. Implement alternative controls, if applicable.
  5. Conduct training.
  6. Evaluate and adjust.

And for general contractors, here are some additional recommendations to follow. In our opinion, you’ll be cited as well if you have a subcontractor who is not following the program.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the OSHA standard and Table 1 at
  2. Ensure your program meets the standard before talking to your subs about theirs.
  3. Train your staff, both safety and field supervisors, on the highlights of the standard, your program and their roles and responsibilities.
  4. Review contract language for subs that may create silica dust as part of their work.
  5. Support communication that must take place to ensure work areas with silica exposure are restricted.
  6. Download for a written program template.

We are actively seeking new members to support the committee from each region. Please contact committee co-chairs Kathi Dobson, (, Schelle Wood, ( or your region’s director if you are interested.

Professional Development and Education

By Jessica Murphy, Professional Development and Education Chair

Most of us know what we should be doing, but there are times when we just don’t seem to be able to get it all done.  On Sept. 13, 2017, Dr. Sarah Reiff-Hekking presented PD&E’s first seminar of the year on “5 Steps to Bust Through Procrastination and Overwhelm.” More than 100 NAWIC members participated in the online presentation live at 4 p.m. EST, and the rest of our members can now access the recorded presentation on NAWIC’s YouTube Channel and Go to the Member Center > Committees > Professional Development > Webinars and Podcasts.

It is important to recognize and address procrastination and being overwhelmed because, as Reiff-Hekking pointed out, these can create negative feelings of self-worth and keep us trapped in a downward negative spiral. In short, we feel bad about what we are not getting done and can’t escape the negative feelings. I know I am not alone in feeling this at times. The key is to break the cycle. Find a new way to address your bad habits. Reiff-Hekking offers five steps to do it.

Step 1: Recognize what is overwhelming you. What part of your daily routine or job are you leaving to do last?  What do you dread to do?  Once you have identified it, change your response to stop procrastination and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Step 2: Change your mind set and tame the dragon. Don’t give it the power to create fear and anxiety.

Step 3: Put good strategies into place and set up your environment for success. My favorite tip is to set up times to check work emails and a time to check my personal messages. That keeps me engaged in the other things I should be doing the rest of the time.

Step 4: Get support. Maybe it’s your boss, co-workers, friends or your NAWIC sisters.  After all, you can’t fight a dragon alone, no matter how hard you try.

Step 5: Keep redoing these steps until it works. The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results. So stop. Restart again with new ideas and strategies. 

Reiff-Hekking’s presentation was inspiring and exciting.  I encourage you to check it out for yourself or incorporate it in to your chapter meeting. If you already watched it, don’t forget to revisit it when you get stuck. 

PD&E has monthly seminars planned throughout the year.  Keep an eye out for presentations on changes to AIA construction documents, NEF courses, sexual harassment, personal branding and more.  Mark your calendar now for our next presentation live at noon EST on Oct. 18, 2017 on “Negotiating - A Woman’s Perspective.” You’ll become aware of the role gender plays in negotiating, and learn practical tips to help you get what you want out of your next negotiation. 

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