Joyce Whitley

Administrative Assistant

Power & Industrial Division
Birmingham, Alabama
Years in the Industry: 23

Joyce Whitley, an Administrative Assistant in the Power & Industrial Division, has worked off and on in construction since completing high school more than 20 years ago, but she did not plan to make it a career. The divorced mother of two was looking for a way to take care of her family. “My mother wanted me to be a nurse but the site of needles bothered me.”

When the opportunity came to work in construction, Joyce took the chance working first in Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, Louisiana, Tennessee and other states for the job. “My children went with me and my youngest changed schools 5 times in one year and went to 12 different schools.”

Joyce has worked in instrumentation, document controls and more. “I even worked unloading trucks, handing out materials, then moved into the field office as a clerk. When I worked in the field, every day was active with different challenges, but you could see the project come together. When it was complete, you’d start over and do it again.”

Joyce admits that she tells any woman with an interest in construction that there are so many benefits to being in this business. “The family friendliness is a huge benefit, along with the pay. You could make enough without other help. Even though you may have to move, you can make it.”

In 1993, Joyce landed in Birmingham and transitioned to an administrative assistant role and has been there ever sense. The sacrifices Joyce’s family made have been well worth it. “My daughter saw I was a hard worker, and it made her want to be a hard worker and not take anything for granted. My son now works in construction, too.”