PDA Q&A: Rita Brown, E-Interview

National Director, Project Accelerate, Birmingham


Published:

Rita Brown

DB: Where are you?

RB: At the Eisenhower Executive Offices, across the street from the White House.

DB: What’s going on there?

RB: (Project Accelerate was) invited to participate in a policy briefing to expedite careers for women in the construction industry, including construction, engineering, design, and the trades. We started in 2012 as a nonprofit organization, and are an advocacy program for women. During the 2008 economic recession, I noticed men in construction had industry knowledge to draw upon in case they lost their jobs — but with women, there was no such safety net.

DB: How’s it progressing?

RB: We have main sponsors now, like the National Association of Women in Construction, Detroit Chapter, and Lawrence Technological University (in Southfield). We’re grateful to the Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan for facilitating our participation at the White House policy briefing. We also took time (while in Washington, D.C.) to visit many of our Michigan Congressional leaders, as well as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who was here at the same time as us.

DB: Are you taking the program national? 

RB: I just received an email from a group in Las Vegas that would like to put on our Project Accelerate program there. We’re running programs from Kansas to Maryland, (and metro) Detroit (is) our national headquarters. Project Accelerate is a seven-week program where participants spend one day a week learning everything about construction, including actively working with concrete and other building materials. It’s for women
who want to get into construction or want to change their careers. 

DB: What’s next?

RB: We want to keep growing nationally. I would like to see 5,000-plus women participate in all of our programs across the country next year, which will be up from 400 women this year. We’re all volunteers, and with the assistance of our sponsors, we’re providing opportunities for gainful employment for women at a time when demand for construction jobs is at a premium. 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

PDA: Q&A Peter J. Ginapolis

The E-Interview Peter J. Ginapolis, Vice President, LSG Insurance Partners, Bloomfield Township

PDA: Q&A Kyle Lindenboom

The E-Interview Kyle Lindenboom, Senior Account Planner, Latcha + Associates, Farmington Hills

PDA Q&A: Van Conway, E-Interview

Interview with Founder and CEO of Van Conway and Partners in Birmingham.

PDA Q&A: Michael Angelo Caruso, E-Interview

Interview with owner of Edison House in Royal Oak.

PDA Q&A: Alan Jay Kaufman, E-Interview

Interview with CEO of H.W. Kaufman Financial Group in Farmington Hills.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. BravoBravo! Fundraiser Returns to Detroit Opera House
    BravoBravo!, a black-tie gala fundraiser for capital improvements at the Detroit Opera House,...
  2. STAHLS’ Expands in Macomb County to Meet Growing Demand for Branded Apparel
    STAHLS’ in Sterling Heights, a global leader in garment decoration equipment, materials, and...
  3. Chicago-based Audit, Tax, and Consulting Firm RSM US LLP Opens Detroit Office
    RSM US LLP, a Chicago-based provider of audit, tax, and consulting services, Friday announced the...
  4. Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital Recognized for Pulmonary Fibrosis Expertise
    Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has received a national designation recognizing its expertise in...
  5. Microsoft Regional Headquarters Holds Grand Opening in Downtown Detroit
    Microsoft Regional Headquarters today held its grand opening in downtown Detroit at Suite 500 of...
  6. Faurecia in Auburn Hills Invests in Silicon Valley Wireless Charging Company
    Auburn Hills’ Faurecia today announced it has invested in Powersphyr, a Silicon Valley...