Staff Spotlight: Catherine Solecki
Meet Catherine Solecki, senior project manager with Bulley & Andrews and industry veteran of 20+ years. She is currently working on a K-8 school expansion for Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (Bernard Zell) and campus improvements at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore. We stopped by her project site at Bernard Zell to see what she’s up to and ask if she’d share some thoughts on her career in construction.
Why did you pursue a career in construction?
I used to be that kid glued to construction fences, watching buildings go up. The excitement has still not waned after all these years.
What project(s) are you currently working on and what do you enjoy most about working on these projects?
I love the level of interest students at Bernard Zell have taken in the construction process. We run a monthly “Behind the Fence” program that brings the kids onto our job site and teaches them about the various aspects of construction. Some of the questions they’ve asked at these meetings have really surprised me. The level of attention they pay to the smallest details and their genuine excitement to learn something new from this experience is amazing.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the energy on a job site and the diversity of the people I am lucky enough to work with.
What has been your favorite project and/or project type to work on?
Projects are like your kids – you don’t have a favorite! I’ve been challenged in different ways on every project I’ve worked on and have met some amazing people along the way. My favorite type of project is definitely a ground-up project because I never get tired of seeing a brand new building emerge from a hole in the ground.
What we can do as an industry to advance women in construction?
I think one of the most important things we can do is to continue to reach out to younger girls at the elementary and high school levels. By providing and supporting STEM programs related to design/construction, by educating girls on the amazing opportunities available to them in this field (both in the office and in the trades) and by highlighting women who’ve succeeded in construction, I believe that more women will consider this as a viable career option.