Laborers Local 110 member named MOWIT Tradeswoman of the Year

Iron Workers 396 Apprenticeship Program, contractors also recognized

Missouri Correspondent

TRADESWOMAN OF THE YEAR: Laborers Local 110’s Delicia Simpson (right), of Tarlton Corporation, has been recognized as the 2022 Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT) Tradeswoman of the Year. MOWIT’s Beth Barton (left), presented her with the award at the organization’s 4th Annual Blue Collar/Black Tie Awards Gala Nov. 4. – Labor Tribune photo

Enthusiastic. Positive attitude. Always willing to lend a hand. That’s how peers describe Laborers Local 110’s Delicia Simpson, who has been honored as the 2022 Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT) Tradeswoman of the Year.

Simpson, of Tarlton Corporation, received the award at MOWIT’s 4th Annual Blue Collar/Black Tie Awards Gala Nov. 4 held at Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 union hall in St. Louis. The event celebrates tradeswomen’s achievements and the great strides made by local contractors and unions to support women in the building trades.

Simpson joined Local 110 in 2018 and has excelled in her professional development by successfully completing numerous training courses with high commendations from her instructors. She recently shared her journey into the trades with the University of Missouri Extension and Engagement Office in a video focused on workforce development for women and minorities.

“Delicia is always offering to volunteer her time on behalf of the union, she mentors both apprentices and journeymen in the field, and she’s a great ambassador for women in the industry,” said Local 110 Business Manager Ronny Griffin. “She was an excellent choice for this award, and we’re proud of her accomplishments.”

Simpson thanked Local 110, the Laborers Training Center, Tarlton Corporation and her family and friends for their support along the way.

“I want to thank Ronny Griffin, Josh Wright, (of the Laborers Training Center) and Becky Mehaffy, my old riding boss for Tarlton,” she said. “Those three have been with me from the beginning, and they’re always just a text away. And to women considering entering the building trades, I came into this without a construction background, and if you are willing to learn, you’ll do great.”

Julie Parker, a 14-year member of IBEW Local 1, and Katie Blanton, a five-year member of Laborers Local 42, were also recognized at the gala with Tradeswomen of the Year Honorable Mentions.

Parker, a third-generation electrician, leads Guarantee Electrical’s Prefabrication Program, managing about 15 apprentices and journeymen in the shop and serving about 600 electricians in the field.

Blanton is a journeywoman laborer who is active in her union. She has overcome Ewing Sarcoma Cancer and while she still struggles with complications, she has a positive attitude on the job and is willing to do any task when asked.

The Iron Workers Local 396 Apprenticeship Program won the organization’s 2022 Apprenticeship Program of the Year award. The local advocates for tradeswomen not only in the field, but within the union and has two female officers.

Local 396 focuses on issues unique to women, such as having a maternity program in place and allowing children to participate in union events. The union is proud of its role in promoting women, which is reflected in the large number of female ironworkers who have been promoted to foreman and other leadership positions.

Additionally, Local 396 has a clause in their contract that requires contractors to keep and maintain a female only restroom onsite and is the only union to do so in the St. Louis area.

McCarthy Building Companies, a 100-percent union contractor, was honored as the Contractor of the Year. McCarthy, which was ranked as the 8th largest domestic builder by Engineering News Record in 2022, is 100 percent employee-owned and has 17 offices across the country.

McCarthy has a national platform to promote women in the industry called Partnership for Women, and the St. Louis chapter has performed outreach across the city by hosting happy hours for women in the trades and distributing a newsletter highlighting women on the job and issues facing women in the industry.

RMB Mechanical, a signatory contractor with Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 since March 2021, received a Contractor/Subcontractor of the Year honorable mention. It is owned by Rochelle Bonty who was the first Black female accepted into Local 36 apprenticeship program.

She is an active member of the St. Louis chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction and has served as a MOWIT board member. She has lifted up many women in programs and at job fairs and has pushed for more programs to bring high school students into construction.

Ed Finkelstein, Labor Tribune publisher emeritus, was recognized with the Gina Walsh Lifetime Achievement/Legacy award for his leadership and vision in bringing the critical role women play in St. Louis-area unions to light in the 86-year-old Labor publication and supporting the growing trend of women succeeding in the building trades.

Founded in 2008, MOWIT is a non-profit organization that provides tradeswomen with support group meetings, job information and referrals. It also maintains a work list as a resource to the construction community. For more information, call (636) 926-6948 or visit

Leave a Reply

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

Scroll to Top