Brianna Gage is a Paving Automation Technician at Texas Materials. Here we ask her what brought her into this industry, what keeps her motivated, and what she’d tell other women who want to break in.
What drew you to a career in construction? I wanted to get into construction because not a lot of women do it, and I like a challenge. I also didn’t want a career where I’m stuck in the office all day. I love being outside and I love how every day is different with the job. So that drew me toward a career in this industry.
What was your first job at Texas Materials? I started with Texas Materials as a spotter / laborer on a paving crew for six months. It was my job to back up trucks to the paver, and to help them dump the material, and to get tickets. I also helped with spotting power lines and people, and just generally watching out for safety issues.
In my current role as a Paving Automation Technician, I’m the lead for the Mat Manager. Mat Manager is a system which tracks key parameters of our paving projects. The system provides real-time measurements to eliminate overruns and document material temperatures, weather conditions and geographical location. My job is to ensure our crews are actively utilizing the tool throughout the day and then compiling the information for distribution to key stakeholders. We utilize this information to analyze performance and compile production data for future project estimating and planning.
What do you enjoy most about your job? We have those long days where we’re out for 19 hours under the sun in the Texas heat, and it’s kind of unheard of for a woman to be in this field, but I like being different!
I like being out in the field and getting to see how things are built. Not just looking at building plans in an office but seeing how material is made or how roads are built. One of our biggest projects right now is helping with Highway 183 in Austin, and it’s one of the biggest projects that’s ever been created in Texas. So it’s cool to drive out there and see it and think, ‘I helped build that.’
Any advice for women considering a career in this industry? When I started this job, I was brand new to construction. A piece of advice I’d give any woman who is considering a career in this field would be not to be discouraged by being different, and don’t give up. Things can be difficult, you’ll have your long days, but you’ll find if you work hard enough that you can get the job done, and people will recognize that.
Fun fact about you? I’m originally from Houston, Texas, but I went to college in Guam!
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