ABC Western Washington’s Kathleen Garrity inducted into Hall of Fame
The University of Washington's Department of Construction Management inducted Kathleen Garrity, retired president of the ABC Western Washington chapter, into the Construction Hall of Fame for her substantial contributions to the industry on May 24. She is the second woman to be inducted.
Garrity was the first executive hired at the Western Washington chapter, where she served as president for more than 30 years. “I was very lucky that, as a trade association manager, I ended up in the construction industry,” said Garrity in accepting the honor. “Contractors have three main attributes: they are results-oriented, they are problem-solvers and they know that success is contingent on investing in long-term relationships, all of which parallel my own views.”
Early in her ABC career Garrity focused on construction education. “I realized that we needed a new and creative solution to address the severe and chronic gap in skilled craft professionals,” she said. Along with AGC’s education director, she recruited a group of dedicated and hardworking contractors who created a first of-its-kind training program, the Construction Industry Training Council, where multiple associations joined forces to train together. Today CITC has seven association partners and more than 600 students in 10 crafts at three locations in Washington.
Garrity represented contractors before the state legislature and Department of Labor and Industries as well as other government agencies. She was also an active advocate working to bring women- and minority-owned firms firms into the mainstream of the construction community and helping them achieve success.
One of her proudest tasks was serving on NAIOP Washington's Community Enhancement Committee for the last 10 years. The committee is made up of members of the wider real estate/construction community – developers, architects, engineers, attorneys, accountants and more. Each year the committee selects a worthy project that needs the special kind of help that only the construction industry can accomplish. After many months of planning and fundraising, some 250-400 volunteers transform a school, camp or other community facility in just one day. It would not be possible without the relationships and trust developed over the years.
“The people construction industry and all they accomplish are amazing. I’m honored to have spent my career with such a wonderful and talented group of people. I am very thankful to be a small part of it and to be recognized by my peers,” she said.