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Murphy Company Takes on WIC Week!

Happy WIC Week from Murphy Company!

Murphy Colorado organized a WIC panel discussion in collaboration with the Western States College of Construction and the National Association of Women in Construction – Rocky Mountain Chapter. We discussed ways to recruit more women into the construction industry, and the resources available. We catered some delicious Sugarfire Smoke House BBQ to bring our St. Louis roots to our Colorado friends and family. Following our incredible panel, we held a networking lunch with over 60 men & women who support the women in our industry. We ended with a tour of our fabrication shop! It was rewarding to see so many people gather to celebrate WIC week and share strategies for recruiting more women into the industry & retaining the ones we already have! Thank you to all our clients, partners, and employees who joined us in celebrating WIC Week!

And a big THANK YOU to our incredible panelists, Jordyn Grote, Djenita Svinjar, and Julie Howell!

Jordyn Grote M.A. serves as WSCC’s Manager of Academic Operations. Jordyn has over 10 years of experience in relationship management, community engagement, and program creation. In her current role, she supports the WSCC president and vice president in establishing community relationships. Jordyn is responsible for both external and internal relationship management for WSCC. This includes serving as the primary point of contact for job fairs and recruitment opportunities, building a network of relationships within Colorado’s and Wyoming’s K-12 education landscape, and serving as a liaison between the College’s administrative team and the Program Directors at each campus. Jordyn is passionate and dedicated to advancing WSCC’s mission and vision.

Djenita Svinjar is a Partner at BBG Construction Law, where she focuses her practice on assisting her commercial clients with drafting, reviewing, and negotiating of multimillion-dollar construction contracts and external general counsel matters. Djenita began her legal career as an In-House Counsel for one of the country’s largest title insurance companies, providing legal support for title curative matters by way of claims resolution, litigation management, and foreclosure assistance for insured homeowners and sophisticated lenders alike. Afterward, Djenita spent several years as Corporate Counsel for one of the nation’s largest general contractors, assisting with various matters including drafting, reviewing, and negotiating multimillion-dollar prime contracts using various methods of project delivery, resolution of prelitigation disputes, and federal audit compliance for Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Djenita is passionate about community involvement and serves on the boards of the Denver Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction, the Law Committee of the Board of Law Examiners for the Colorado Supreme Court, and she is also a committee member of AGC Colorado’s Future Leaders Forum.

Julie Howell graduated from Oklahoma State University, with a degree in Construction Management & worked as a General Contractor for 18 years in Oklahoma before transitioning into the subcontractor role in 2016. With a relocation to Denver in 2020, Julie has worked in the commercial flooring sector with CFS in project management and most recently as Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations for Commercial Flooring Services in Denver & Colorado Springs. CFS specializes in flooring installations for metro healthcare facilities.

Julie has a deep passion for construction education and being a part of organizations that support the future of our industry. She takes opportunities to try to connect our industry and the students in local construction education programs at the High School and University levels, as they are the future of our workforce. Julie currently serves on the Board of Directors for Denver Metro Chapter #112 of NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction), and is a member of several local associations including Women in Healthcare, ASHE, AMFP, and CAHED. She is also involved with supporting the new Epic Campus – Construction program located in Littleton.

In summation of our WIC Panel, we learned about a plethora of resources available to assist our recruitment efforts, such as NAWIC Events, female-focused networking associations, as well as trade schools that teach hands-on skills. The ultimate takeaway we learned from this panel is to focus on representing, retaining, and mentoring the women we have to build them up so that they can continue to recruit more women into the industry!

A key point emphasized by one of our panelists is the significance of representation. Seeing other women in these roles serves as a powerful motivator for young women, empowering them to pursue similar paths. Another panelist stressed the necessity of retaining women already in the industry. This involves promoting internal talent, providing training, and fostering mentorship opportunities. Mentorship, in particular, plays a crucial role in encouraging women to participate and seek guidance.

We also uncovered valuable resources such as the EPIC Campus in Littleton, the Western States College of Construction (WSCC), and local unions that offer apprenticeship programs. The EPIC Campus offers high school students opportunities for earning credits, industry certifications, and work-based learning. WSCC, with its eight education centers, provides quality educational and training programs to support the industry. Affiliated apprenticeship programs through WSCC offer pathways to rewarding careers. Additionally, local unions provide robust apprenticeship programs and opportunities for students interested in joining the industry.

Links to these resources:

EPIC Campus:
Local Union 9:
Local Union 3:
Local Union 208:
Local Union 145:
Local Union 58:

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