Women in Construction Week: Q&A with Ali Mills

As the first female board member and executive committee member in the Association’s 86 year history, Ali Mills, Executive Vice President/EEO at Plum Contracting, Inc. has construction in her blood. To celebrate Women in Construction Week, CAWP had a quick Q&A with Ali about her career path and love of the industry.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?

A: I attended Duquesne University, and received a degree in Business.

Q: How long have you worked in the industry?

A: Officially I have been working in the industry for 14 years, but I have been going to work with my dad since I was a small girl.  My playdates as a child were at Plum Contracting, so unofficially it is probably closer to 30 years!

Q: What was your first position in the industry and what do you do today?

A: I started out as the construction assistant. Now, I oversee the daily business operations at Plum Contracting. I still have a passion for the construction side where I began my career and continue to work hand in hand with the Division Manager of our subcontract side.

Q: What do you enjoy most about the industry?

A: I love that our industry is always evolving and presents new challenges daily, and it is an industry that takes great pride in our nation and the work of our people.

Q: Why do you think this is a great industry for women to consider when looking at career paths?

A:  Our industry recognizes that women represent a talent pool needed to fill our increasing employment demands. The scope of opportunities, increasing demand for both skilled and professional workers within the industry, and financial benefits make this an appealing path to women.

Q: What does it mean to you to be the first woman on the CAWP Board of Governors?

A: I am honored that I can bring a new perspective to our association in an industry that is always evolving. Having faced many challenges being a woman, and now a mom, in our field, I am humbled to be a representative of working moms in our industry with CAWP.

Q: What would you do if you DIDN’T work in construction?  

A: I’m a people person and problem solver, so I would probably be in event planning or private investigation.

Q: What are you up to when you are not at work?  

A: When I’m not working, I am spending time with my son Spencer and husband Paul, interacting with other moms, trying new recipes in the kitchen, relaxing with a glass of wine, and binging shows on Bravo.

March 1 – 7, 2020 is Women in Construction Week. The focus of Women in Construction (WIC) Week is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry. WIC Week also provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women in the industry. It is also a time for local chapters to give back to their communities.