Operating Engineers 513 journeywoman wins national Construction Championship award

BRITTONI CALHOUN, an Operating Engineers Local 513 journeywoman, has been honored with a Construction Championship award from Construction Dive for mentoring others. – Photo courtesy of Brittoni Calhoun

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Brittoni Calhoun, an Operating Engineers Local 513 journeywoman, has been honored with a national Construction Championship award for mentoring others.

The awards, recognizing extraordinary women in the industry, were sponsored by Construction Dive, a digital publication reaching over 449,500. Calhoun was one of 31 women nationwide to receive an award out of 400 nominations for five categories. The mentoring award is for helping others break into the industry and striving to make it a better place for all who work in it.

“Brittoni is a shining example of what a union sister should be,” said Brian Graff, Local 513 president and business manager. “I had the pleasure of working with her as an instructor when she was in our training program. She works hard, leads by example and is active in our organization. We’re really proud of her.”

Calhoun began her career in construction as a carpenter and has worked as an operating engineer over the past nine years. During that time, she has mastered her craft and become a stalwart advocate for her fellow tradespeople – someone who “genuinely wants to make everybody around her better,” according to her nominator.

Calhoun attends every union meeting and event and consistently supports the union’s collective goals and growth. What sets her apart, however, is her unparalleled devotion to mentoring apprentices entering the union, her nominator says. Calhoun goes above and beyond to ensure their success, providing valuable advice and serving as a guide.

Her leadership within the construction industry is embodied through her work ethic and dedication to fostering a diverse, supportive and empowered community within the trades.

“I am honored and humbled and have a great deal of appreciation,” Calhoun wrote on Facebook. “Although, every day I see women with boots on the ground making a difference, and it often goes unnoticed. I just want to say by me being honored I am a reflection of all of you, and I appreciate our drive! And if no one else tells you know that we are difference makers, we are and we can!”

This isn’t the first time Calhoun has been honored. She won the 2021 Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT) Tradeswoman of the Year award for her role in breaking down barriers and inspiring other women to pursue and thrive in construction careers. Her nominator said Calhoun “stands as a testament to what it means to lead with excellence and compassion in the construction world.”

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