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Helping build careers in construction


We are proud to support many terrific, non-profit organizations in the communities we serve. Recently, we had an opportunity to present a scholarship check from Women’s Construction Coalition (WCC) San Diego to a Patrick Henry High School student, Adrianna, who hopes to pursue a career in construction. We were given this honor because of a grant we made to WCC to support the work they do affirming and sustaining the professionalism and success of women throughout the San Diego construction industry.

Specifically, we asked that our donation be used to help fund educational events for female students in low- to moderate-income schools to gain knowledge about the construction industry and also to support WCC’s Julia Morgan Society clubs. The purpose of the clubs is to mentor high school girls and boys and expose them to careers in construction, architecture and engineering.

Our executive vice president and regional manager Darla Clark presented the scholarship check during an installment of WCC’s Leadership Seminar, which featured a talk from Nancy Novak, who served as national vice president of operations for Balfour Beatty before recently joining Compass Datacenters. Nancy, who flew out from Texas for the event, has a national reputation for her work advancing opportunities and support for women in construction and technology.

Nancy shared some valuable insight at the event about closing the gender leadership gap, saying, “If we can figure out how to close the gap between potential versus credential, we will have made good progress in advancing women into leadership positions.”

She advised attendees about personal advancement as well, saying, “You need to figure out how to get to know your leadership and your peers on a personal and professional level in order to build advocates at the decision-making levels.”

Nancy’s comments and the entire event program created a lot of positive buzz among attendees.

“We were really honored to play an instrumental role at this exclusive and exciting event,” said Darla. “Supporting the non-profit organizations that are working hard in our communities to better the lives of others is a top priority for our bank. We’ve even developed services and products specifically geared to the unique needs of our non-profit clients.”

In addition to awarding scholarships, WCC provides assistance to high school and college students through its Mentoring Page, a resource to “help students, educators, counselors and parents understand and navigate through their career paths.” The mentoring resource includes descriptions of jobs and related salaries; education options with local colleges and universities; direct links to high schools with construction-related programs; and information about apprenticeship training programs.

Additionally, WCC holds a monthly lunch meeting at Santana High School, Patrick Henry High School, San Diego High School and Hoover High School for interested students (female and male) to learn more about careers in the construction industry. The lunches feature guest speakers who talk about how they got their start, what they do and some of the challenges they’ve overcome. The students also get information about scholarships, building their resumes, jobsite visits and opportunities for internships and summer jobs.

Beyond its work to educate students about construction-related careers, WCC also provides member education events for working professionals, industry advocacy, networking opportunities and more. For more information or to join WCC, visit



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