WATCH This Time Warp Video of the Skills Challenges at Caterpillar’s Women in Construction Celebration

Last week, the Compact Equipment crew had the honor of attending Caterpillar’s first Women in Construction Celebration March 13-14 in Clayton, North Carolina. Cat invited 18 female equipment operators from around the United States and two from Brazil to Cat’s Edward J. Rapp Customer and Training Center to compete in equipment skills tests, learn about the latest industry trends and network with peers. That included interviews, videos and photos with Compact Equipment, which we are currently compiling into multiple stories.

This event overall was an amazing celebration of women in construction — both from the perspective of pro female operators and Caterpillar’s own workforce of amazing women. The skills challenge was performed over nine hours, with Dubuque, Iowa’s Kait Burds being crowned champion. Congrats! Just to give our readers a sense of what this event felt like, we recorded a time warp video of the three skills challenges, which included operating an excavator, wheel loader and compact track loader. The skills tests included expertise in the following areas:

  • Small Wheel Loader: Move material through the course to achieve 7.0 to 7.5 tons; then change to forks and use them to move a pallet.
  • Compact Track Loader: Navigate an obstacle course using multiple machine functions.
  • Small Hydraulic Excavator: Load truck to achieve 10-tons payload.

Along with the tests, the competitors participated in a panel discussion where they shared best practices, discussed managing a successful career in a male-dominated industry and talked about the importance of recruiting more female operators and technicians into the workforce. Renowned Air Force fighter pilot, retired Lieutenant Colonel Tammy Barlette, delivered an impressive and inspiring keynote during the opening lunch, sharing lessons learned from her years in the cockpit that she now applies to everyday life.

The event concluded with an awards ceremony where the overall skills test winner and others were recognized:

  • Overall Skills Test: Kait Burds, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Small Wheel Loader Skills Test: Kait Burds, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Compact Track Loader Skills Test: Kenzi Tackett, Ray, Ohio
  • Small Hydraulic Excavator Skills Test: Azaria Biven, Indianapolis, Indiana
winners of the Caterpillar women in construction celebration

The list of participants in Caterpillar’s first Women in Construction Celebration and their supporting Cat dealer is below: 

  • Kait Burds, Ziegler Cat
  • Daiane da Silva Candido, Sotreq
  • Jordyn Ledford, Stowers Cat
  • Shayla Sublette, Warren Cat
  • Azaria Biven, MacAllister Machinery
  • Ana Gonzales, Thompson Machinery
  • Misheala Brozovich, Wagner Cat
  • Amanda Miles, Gregory Poole
  • Rondalee Wilke, Ring Power
  • Letti Ortiz, Holt Cat
  • Miranda Menchaca, Holt Cat
  • Mackenzie Tackett, Ohio Cat
  • Chelsey Holdosi, Carter Machinery
  • Rachel Riggs, Empire Cat
  • Megan Riley, Empire Cat
  • Alexandra Smith, Milton Cat
  • Whitney Poulin, Milton Cat
  • Carla Vitoria de Araujo Marques, Sotreq

We’ll be diving deep into this skills challenge and celebration with a big feature post and video soon. So keep an eye out (maybe two). Until then, here are the complete details of Caterpillar’s Women in Construction Celebration:

Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.

See Discussion, Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.