Valerie Crafton, a mom who works in the construction industry and the author of That Construction Worker is My Mom, exposure to construction began when she would accompany her father to his job sites after the loss of her mother at age 7. She spent a lot of her childhood on construction sites, where she acquired a love for working with her hands. This influence and on-the-job learning went on through High School where she learned almost everything about building a house.
She was initially turned down by larger companies, prompting her to pursue a construction degree B.S. in Industrial Technology, Construction Management. She vowed that not being taken seriously as a laborer would not prevent her from acquiring experience, so she volunteered for Habitat for Humanity while still parenting her eldest daughter throughout her university years.
Crafton earned a special invitation to join the International Honor Society for Professions in Technology through the GAMMA THETA Chapter and was voted the first woman to hold the role of president of Construction Management Student Associations. She also received the commanders award for her volunteer efforts to help military families through leading many fundraising events and building local Family Readiness Group Centers (FRG) for the military community.
Valerie continues her work in finding ways to give back to her community with her new book, “That Construction Worker is My Mom”, she believes that through reading this book, other youngsters would be inspired to disregard society while making decisions about their future and to not be scared to go against the grain. Blaze THAT TRAIL, don’t look back and don’t accept “NO” as an answer. We are the Authors of our Own Stories, and we own our destiny. Individuals should not give up no matter what!
“Thankfully, I had the tenacity to push past the voices telling me to do ‘a woman’s job’ and embrace my voice asking, ‘What is a man’s job?’,” she said during one of her interviews. Why is it that we can’t imagine women in certain roles?” Even my father who exposed me to construction and taught me much of what he knew would say in an old-fashioned way that I needed a husband to take care of me. But I knew better, I assumed that women could have their independence, be a great mother, a great wife, and still do the job of a construction worker. And to have a husband was because I wanted one, not because I needed someone to be co-dependent on.”
The book, That Construction Worker is My Mom, speaks about breaking the stereotype that certain jobs are only for certain types of people. Valerie tells the narrative of her experience as a woman navigating a male-dominated business, encouraging girls worldwide to follow their ambitions and to not allow anyone to tell them they can’t do anything simply because they don’t seem like the typical person who would perform that job. For a variety of reasons, as our society evolves toward a more technologically sophisticated lifestyle and a more varied population, it is apparent than ever that more women are needed in underrepresented areas and job functions.
The book encourages future trailblazers to not be scared to pursue their aspirations, even if society tells them otherwise.