Mapping a Modern Mississippi < Places < Women in Construction

Women in Construction

The Women in Construction Program trains women for careers in the construction trades to increase their earning power and family economic security.

The Stories

The Moore Community House serves low-income women and young children in the ethnically diverse, low-wealth neighborhoods of east Biloxi. MCH and its community were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As part of its recovery efforts, MCH launched the Women in Construction (WinC) program to help low-income women enter construction trade jobs. This was an effort to not only contribute to hurricane recovery, but to also offer individual women and their families improved earnings by opening new pathways to economic security. Since Katrina, Women in Construction has grown significantly to include general construction and welding trade skills...

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Credit to: Carol Burnett, Mary Reynolds Babock Foundation

Credit to: Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

Construction students are using the skills they've learned in the classroom to rebuild storm-damaged homes in the community. What makes the program unique is the students are all women.

The Women in Construction program is a free training course that was created after Hurricane Katrina. Many of the students are homeless, low-income, or face other hardships in life. This week, the ladies are reaching out to help someone else in need...

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Credit to: WLOX

The Moore Community House is in may ways a microcosm of the neighborhood around it. The nonprofit has been a sort of crossroads in Back Bay, connecting secular and Christian programs, families of different races and people in need with those who can help. It has bounced back after hurricanes, endured times of economic decline and stood strong in the face of racism. It has often been ahead of the curve, ushering in integration in the turbulent '60s, training women for nontraditional jobs and advocating for more child-care funding in the state.

This year, the East Biloxi institution is celebrating 90 years of community involvement.
The United Methodist Women mission agency primarily offers affordable child care to poor families through the federally funded Early Head Start program. But it has had other programs throughout its history, such as training women for construction jobs and teaching adults to read...

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Credit to: Lauren Walck, Mississippi United Methodist Women

Julie Kuklinsky is the Director of the Women in Construction program on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Leading demo crews after Hurricane Katrina, Julie fell in love with rebuilding houses and working with women in the construction field. Now, she continues to empower women by training them in a typically male-dominated field.

“When we do a project, it’s community-based—it’s not for profit at all. We do it to help the community, but our students get valuable learning. So after the storm, we were working in houses of people who needed it, and our students were getting trained on the site. So it was like a win-win situation for people who needed work done and women who needed to learn. And something interesting that’s in Mississippi to the core is that people appreciate people who work hard and it doesn’t really matter their gender.”-Julie

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