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Women in Construction Spotlight: Alison Long

Our Paving crews across the nation are hard at work bringing quality service to our customers. Alison Long, Project Engineer, has been taking advantage of this busy season to hone her craft, build relationships with customers, and immerse herself in the industry.

Alison joined the Keeley team in January of 2023 during the Paving “off-season.” With very few active jobs, especially in St. Louis, it was difficult for Alison to learn the process of Keeley Paving projects, from pre-bid through to completion. However, as the weather warmed up and more project got underway, Alison embraced the opportunity to be onsite, learning the milling, paving, and excavation processes hand-on, while also learning about every single piece of equipment. This is just the beginning of everything there is to learn, but Alison is grateful to work in an environment that encourages continuous learning, eliminates barriers to professional growth, and places no limits on her career development.

“I’ve experienced a lot of trust and respect from my team which, in turn, has greatly empowered me. Despite only being a Keeley’n for a few months, I’ve been trusted with significant responsibilities, granted understanding and flexibility when I make mistakes, and receive valuable feedback on my performance. However, the most empowering thing I’ve experienced thus far is the genuine career advice and the unwavering support of my processional growth from the self-perform Paving team. Their encouragement and belief in my potential truly makes me feel like the sky is the limit.”

After a summer internship with ADB’s wireless division, Alison knew she wanted to pursue a career in the construction industry. Most of her college classes were centered around lean manufacturing, so for her, it’s been a challenge to adapt those lessons to the ever-changing construction industry. However, she loves the fast-paced nature of the industry, the different challenges that are presented with every new project, and the satisfaction of driving by previous projects and eagerly telling people about it! Coming into the industry, Alison knew she would be joining a male-dominated workforce. Navigating this has presented some challenges, but Keeley has consistently fostered an empowering and inclusive environment where she feels comfortable and supported. By finding mentors, allies, and trustworthy team members, Alison has built a support system within Keeley that shields her processional abilities and confidence from being undermined. So, if she could give one piece of advice to women wanting to join construction, it would be:

“Embrace the diversity, but do not let it break your confidence. You may experience comments or professional judgement that undermines this confidence, but your skills and contributions are valuable regardless of your gender. Always ask questions and never be embarrassed of your desire for continuous learning. Embrace every opportunity that comes across your plate and grow your professional network – you never know what doors these opportunities might open.”

Since joining Keeley, Alison has been receptive to everything and has learned a lot of great lessons. The most valuable lesson she has learned is how important it is to be curious and open to continuous learning. Whether it’s applicable to your role or not, knowledge is incredibly powerful. She actively takes the initiative to ask questions and engage with her team members she might not frequently interact with to continue to grow her professional relationships. These connections can evolve into mentorship opportunities which will help build her support system for any guidance or advice she may need to drive her career even further. As she looks towards the future and where she sees her professional journey going, Alison is excited to further expand her technical experience with the paving processes and to become an incredibly valuable asset to Keeley’s self-perform team. However, when thinking about her vision, Alison is most excited to furthering her leadership development skills with the goal of eventually leading a team that thrives on empowerment, trust, collaboration, and operational efficiency.

“My favorite thing about being a Keeley’n is the incredible culture. Each morning, I am greeted with an abundance of smiles. Also, I never hesitate to be inquisitive because I am confident that my curiosity will be met with understanding, validation, and insightful answers. The entire team here at Keeley is incredibly supportive, always ready to lend a helping hand and address any questions I may have. Keeley truly fosters a supportive and welcoming environment that embraces a genuine sense of empowerment, instilling confidence in my professional journey.”

Alison, we are so grateful you found your way to Keeley! Your unique perspectives, curiosity, passion for growth, and robust vision will drive the Paving team to new heights. We can’t wait to see what amazing things you accomplish!


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