Why should women enter the construction industry?
“At 84 Lumber, there’s room for every associate to succeed. It’s a culture that creates an environment where you work hard, care, and check your ego at the door. You can do anything you want in this company,” said Smiley.
As a female leader of the company, Hardy says she supports her associates every day.
“We have lots of great stories. Here, the sky's the limit,” she says.
Many women in the field didn't consider construction as a vehicle for career success but have since changed their minds, like Amherst, New York store co-manager Shannon LaMonte.
"I come from a family of contractors," explained LaMonte. "But I never thought to pursue a career in construction, mostly because it was intimidating. 84 Lumber has given me all the tools to be successful in something I've always wanted to be part of."
Others started in one aspect of the business, only to learn there were more opportunities outside traditional roles.
"At 18, I began working for a lumber yard as a cashier. I found the atmosphere energetic and exciting," recalled Niki Flynn, now in outside sales. "I started at 84 Lumber 17 years ago as a coordinator and drove myself to learn all aspects of the company."
“Women in the industry encourage others to try something new — because you may be surprised at your own abilities,” said Plant Manager Polly Jean (PJ) Miller. "84 Lumber allowed me to expand my knowledge with multiple positions. Don’t be intimidated by work in the construction field. If it's something that truly interests you, don’t be scared to step up and learn."
84 Lumber operates 310 facilities which include stores, component manufacturing plants, custom door shops and engineered wood product centers in more than 35 states. 84 Lumber also offers turnkey installation services for a variety of products, including framing, insulation, siding, windows, roofing, decking and drywall.
Casey Lemoi, 84 Lumber install manager, said, "If you are considering a career in the construction industry, make sure you like a challenge and the ability to learn every day. Always ask too many questions to clarify. Change needs to be in your daily vocabulary because things are constantly changing in all parts of the industry from codes to product knowledge. Construction is a great industry for those who like to see a physical outcome from all their hard work.”