WIC Week - WBE Spotlight: Kim McBride
All week we are celebrating WIC Week (Women In Construction) and will be spotlighting some of our WBE (Women Owned Businesses) Members. Today we chatted with Kim McBride, Owner of Balanced Electric, Inc. and asked her a few questions to share with everyone. Enjoy!
What got you started or interested in construction?
I enrolled in a program at Portland Community College that was designed to introduce women to the trades. It was called Building Futures in Industry and Trades (B-FIT). It was great because I am a very hands-on learner, and this program was geared towards just that. We got a small sampling of the different trades, carpentry, HVAC, plumbing, electrical. We were able to build something and get real experience working with our hands and with the tools. We also worked on resume building and how to find out about the different apprenticeship programs available and how and when to apply. After completing that program, I decided that the electrical field would be a good fit for me. It was both mentally and physically challenging and something I could see myself doing for a career. The timing was great because the construction industry was just starting to boom, and many apprenticeship programs were starting to open up again.
What types of positions/roles have you had? For how long?
I spent about half of my apprenticeship at Intel in the Portland area. This was a huge multiyear, multi-phase project with hundreds of trades people on the job. The other half was working with controls and then in residential service. I found I like the smaller commercial and residential side of the electrical field. Since moving to Eugene, I worked for a couple small electrical contractors before starting my own business with my partner in 2013.
What is an accomplishment you are proud of?
I’m proud of getting my Electrical Supervisors License and taking that step to start Balanced Electric. I wasn’t sure about the business side of things, and it was a big leap of faith that work would continue and we would succeed. Now at 9 years in business, I’m proud of our work, our reputation, our relationships, our team, and our successful business.