Winners announced ahead of MOWIT Tradeswomen’s Award Dinner

Honorees to be recognized Oct. 6

Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT) has announced the winners of this year’s tradeswomen awards.

Honorees will be recognized at the Blue Collar/Black Tie Tradeswomen Awards Gala on Friday, Oct. 6. The black tie optional event will be held at will be held from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 Grand Hall at 2319 Chouteau Ave. in St. Louis. The black-tie optional event includes dinner, a credit/debit card bar, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle.

This year’s awardees include:

  • Paula Burke, of Laborers Local 42, will be honored as the 2023 Tradeswoman of the Year. MOWIT will also recognize Cathy Cook, of Carpenters Local 662, with an honorable mention.
  • Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 Apprenticeship Program will be recognized with the 2023 Union/Apprenticeship Program of the Year award.
  • IWR North America will be honored as the Contractor/Subcontractor of the Year.
  • Sonja Gholston Byrd, a member of CWA Local 6300 and United Way vice president of labor engagement, will be recognized with the Gina Walsh Lifetime Achievement/Legacy award. Aurora Bihler, a member of Iron Workers Local 396 and St. Louis Building Union Diversity (BUD) program coordinator, will receive an honorable mention.

Gina Rodriguez, regional administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, will be the keynote speaker at the event. She will inspire the audience with her passion and knowledge about the value and importance of investing and increasing women’s presence and leadership both on and off the jobsite.

For more information on MOWIT and gala updates, visit

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