New York Construction Report staff writer
Beth Langhauser, the first woman president of the American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA), says she had a somewhat unconventional start to her construction industry career. However, Langhauser, owner of Midwest Placing, says the dynamic nature of the business and the people she has met along the way have cemented her to the industry.
“I had a degree in communication and came to Midwest as a temp 20 years ago while I looked for my future career,” she said. “I started in the office and have been here ever since.”
Langhauser says the owner of the company at the time opened the doors to the business and future opportunities. She says she began attending seminars, learning about the industry from jobsite to operations, and took classes to fill in what she needed to know.
She says she was never treated poorly at any point in her career. However, in her early years, she appreciated she was working in a male dominated field, where women were unexpected.
“There has not been a significant change in this but where before I would attend a conference and be the only woman present, now there may be several women in the room,” she said.
She indicates she is happy to see younger people are entering the industry. “Our industry is made up of a lot of family businesses and we’re starting to see the (millennial) sons, and daughters, taking over, which is great.”
She says the concrete pumping industry gets in your blood – both because of the customers and the tight knit community. Working with heavy equipment and complex mixing science can be challenging depending on the job, but the work is also rewarding when you succeed, she said.
Langhauser said the concrete pumping industry is a great industry for any woman because of its opportunities and potential. She has a niece currently considering her career options. “Construction is an opportunity often ignored by women but there is so much potential,” and she hopes the young woman will consider the career.
The best way to get started is “look into internships, find a way to get into the field to see what it is really all about,” she said.