Dawn Fleming new president of MOWIT

St. Louis – Dawn Fleming has been elected to serve as president of Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women enter and succeed in the union building trades.

Fleming, a seven-year member of Carpenters Local 97, who previously served as vice president, replaces Aly Martinez, an IBEW Local 1 instructor. Fleming is a single mom of two, and her son Terrance recently decided to follow in her footsteps and became a carpenter.

“I’ve never seen myself in a leadership position, but sometimes people see things in you that you don’t,” Fleming said. “I’m looking forward to continuing the important work MOWIT does in the St. Louis community, and I’m hoping to enlist more of our veteran, female union members to the group to serve as mentors.”

Fleming got her start in the construction industry after graduating from the St. Louis Building Union Diversity (BUD) program, now run by the Missouri Works Initiative. It’s a six-week program created as a recruitment tool to encourage more women and minorities to get into the union building trades. It provides pre-apprentices with the opportunity to visit participating local building trade unions to give them hands-on basic training and a feel for each of the trades.

“I already had two associate degrees and was considering going to Ranken because I love building things,” she said. “Then I found out about the St. Louis Building Union Diversity program and decided to give it a shot.”

Fleming chose commercial carpentry as her career field and was hired immediately after graduating from the BUD program. It was then she joined MOWIT, seeking guidance and sisterhood in a typically male-dominated industry.

“My advice to other women seeking careers in the trades is to never give up,” she said. “It’s challenging work, but it’s worth it. Keep your eyes on the prize.”

Other officers elected to the executive board include:

  • Kailyn Johnson, a legal advocate for domestic violence victims, will serve as vice president.
  • Elizabeth “Eli” Knight, a client development/diversity coordinator at Icon Mechanical, will serve as secretary.
  • Norma West, former secretary/treasurer for IATSE (Stagehands) Local 6, will serve again as treasurer.

Other board members include:

  • Ann Dalton, an attorney at Hammond and Shinners.
  • Bek Jarchow, an Iron Workers Local 396 journeywoman.
  • Beth Barton, a Carpenters journeywoman.
  • Cindy Frank, a Carpenters retiree.
  • Danyeal Crittenden, a Laborers Local 42 journeywoman.
  • Maggie Burke, of the Keyway Center for Diversion and Reentry.
  • Shawn Jordan, McCarthy field operations manager.

Founded in 2008, MOWIT is a non-profit organization that provides tradeswomen with support group meetings, job information and referrals. Support group meetings are held the third Thursday of the month at 6301 Knox Industrial Drive in St. Louis from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, call 636-926-6948 or visit mowit.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top