March 7, 2019 | by EBA Engineering

EBA’s Laura Morin manages a busy construction office supporting the firm’s contracts with the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). But don’t be fooled—she’s no paper pusher! During Women in Construction Week, she answers some of our questions about her work and experiences.

Where are you from?
I am from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, though I grew up in Northern Virginia. I moved to Maryland in the late 1980s and lived there until 2017 when we moved to Delaware. 

What do you do for EBA? 
I am a consultant for SHA District 1 in Salisbury, Maryland. I am a project office manager for the Construction Division.

What inspired you to pursue a career in construction?  
I have been in construction in one form or another all my life. I did try other professions, but I have always come back to construction. My father was a builder/developer, so my first “job” was following him around on his job sites, and that kind of set the tone. From there I worked in his office and then onto commercial construction, disaster restoration, cell site design and building, remodeling, bridges, signs, and now roadways.

How long have you worked in the construction field? 
Literally since I was a child. I was 16 when I collected my first construction paycheck, and I am now almost 50. (That’s a lot of math!)

What’s the most interesting project you are currently working on?  
I have a lot of favorites. Working on cell site design and construction on rooftops and water towers was very interesting. Helping to restore homes after fire destruction was very rewarding; we were not just restoring homes, but helping families find normalcy again. Some of the design-build projects in remodeling I have worked on had very unique designs. Some sign work I performed at the Maryland Transportation Authority was very interesting, most especially in the tunnels and on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge… I could go on and on.

What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love the people I work with; they are a big family. I have a lot of interaction with subcontractors, project engineers, and SHA staff. 

I love that I have taken an “office job,” but I am definitely not a paper pusher. The entire team is part of the whole project from start to finish. I go on site and can really see what is happening and apply it to the work at the office.   

I’ve taken my role to include so much more than typical administrative duties, and here they encourage me to learn and do as much as I would like. I assist not only the project engineers but the area and district engineer as well, and we have multiple projects running at any given time. We all work as a team. It’s wonderful to be encouraged to expand your role and responsibilities!  

What are you most proud of so far in your career?  
I was an MBE for 15 years and held multiple licenses for contracting in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. I was in a partnership that supported contracts of more than $1 million annually and was recognized for innovation and design.  

When you aren’t at work, what are you most likely doing? 
I’m usually driving my daughter to softball practice or a tournament. She plays all over the country, which is a wonderful way to spend time together. We are extremely proud of her. 

I live at the beach, and I would love to say that I sit at the beach and read a lot. But sadly, that is not the case. Maybe someday!

Why is construction a good career choice?
Construction is a very strong industry, and there are a lot of avenues in construction for women in either administration or engineering/design.

What advice do you have for encouraging the next generation of women in construction?
I tell my girls all the time that there is nothing they can’t do if they apply themselves. I believe that you can do anything you set your mind to. I don’t believe anymore that construction is a “man’s world.”

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