Diversify the Workforce: Recruiting Women and Minority Workers


Mechelle McNew
Business Manager
SMART Local Union 464
Julie Muller-Neff, Esq.
Executive Vice President
SMACNA – Western Washington, Inc.
Leah Rambo
JAC Administrator
SMART Local 28 Training Center
Angela Simon
Western Allied Mechanical


More diversity leads to more talent, more productivity, and more market share. Research shows that embracing diversity in construction helps contractors experience higher performance and increased profitability. And that leads to greater market share for the industry.

This session’s knowledgeable panel of industry leaders will explore why diversity and inclusion are key to our future sustainability as an industry. They will also discuss how to overcome barriers to achieving greater diversity including: attracting qualified women and minorities; addressing the needs of women and minorities to keep them in the industry; and developing culture of inclusivity.

Mechelle McNew is a key team member of the SMART Women Team. The mission of this team is to “recruit, retain and promote women in our Trade and ensure workplace equality within our Organization.”

Julie Muller-Neff has actively addressed the industry’s workforce needs by creating an intern program to help bright, young people find their way to deserving contractors. She has also worked with her peers to establish the Women in Construction Leadership Council, where she continues in a leadership role.

Leah Rambo currently serves on the New York City Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education Advisory Council and Gender Equity Committee. She is also a member of NYC Coalition for Women in Construction.

Angie Simon has been a leader in the Bay Area construction industry for many years. She formed a Women in Construction Leadership Committee within National SMACNA to work with both the contractors and the Union to encourage and promote the role of women in sheet metal.

Download Presentation


Back to Schedule