Meet the Closing the Gap Guest Speaker for November 2021, Courtney Conklin!

Courtney is an Equipment Operator for Knife River, driving dump trucks and backhoes! Listen to the full interview premiering on November 8th! In the meantime check out this Q&A for a sneak peek of what we will be talking about.

Q: Please describe your educational/training background

Knife River apprenticeship program partnered with Northwest College of Construction.

Q: Please describe where you work & your occupation

I have worked at Knife River for almost 7 years as an equipment operator.

Q: Career-wise, what have been your proudest moments/highlights/accomplishments so far?

One of my biggest accomplishments is graduating from the apprenticeship program.

Q: What are some of your future goals or things you would like to accomplish?

Courtney Conklin with her dump truck

I would like to keep expanding my knowledge in the field of work I am in. I want to be able to do it all, especially become a more qualified/skilled operator.

Q: What have been some of your biggest career challenges?

Overcoming fear and doubt. Being a mom to two young children while also trying to make a crazy work schedule work for our family.

Q: Many young women might not be aware of the career available in STEM fields. What do you think can be done to spread the word to women about career options in these fields?

I think high schools need to be including these type of careers in their prep/senior year courses. No one ever talked about apprenticeships or trade schools when I was in school. I also think social media could be used as a tool to reach more women as well, or something like this podcast. It’s really great what you’re doing!

Q: Do you have any advice for women who are looking to follow a similar career path?

Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from going down this path. It can be kinda scary picturing yourself working in a field that most women don’t, but girl, it is so worth the hard work and sweat to get there!

Q: What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?

I enjoy going to the dunes with my family, taking my kids to the dirt bike track, gardening, fishing, camping, we’re always outside and on the go.


Closing the Gap November 2021 Resources:

Podcast available on November 8th LISTEN HERE!
Download Courtney’s Closing the Gap poster.

Listen to past episodes of the podcast on our Closing the Gap page.