Meet Holley Thomas: Gold Medal Winner, Mentor and Craft Professional of the Year

3 March 13, 2015  Careers in Construction, featured, The Skills Gap


I had the opportunity to attend the National Craft Championships for Associated Builders and Contractors in Ft Lauderdale last week.  There were close to 200 craft competitors in addition to a competition for Craft Instructor of the Year and Craft Professional of the Year. But the highlight of my week was watching the Craft Professional of the Year get named.  That person was Holley Thomas of KBR.  What a great way to end Women in Construction week.

Holley is a welder—not just any welder—she is a structural welder, pipe welder and a certified welding inspector by the American Welding Society. And she is a teacher, a mentor, a manager and a leader.  She is an inspiration.

In 2010, she competed in the ABC National Craft Championships and won gold medal in structural welding.  She was the first women to place in this event.  Holley is leaving footprints in our industry and not just for other women to follow.  She is a mentor to many; from women and men who work with her at KBR to 8th and 9th graders in summer training camps for careers in construction.

Holley is one of the many faces of our construction industry and one that I will never forget.

And I will be sharing her story as I have the opportunity this year.

Pamela Volm

Pamela Volm

Contributor since March 2015

Pamela Volm, president of Annapolis Contracting, Inc., Annapolis, Md., and is currently the chairwoman of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Volm leads the ABC Executive Committee and Board of Directors, guides the association’s national initiatives and serves as its spokesperson.

3 Responses to Meet Holley Thomas: Gold Medal Winner, Mentor and Craft Professional of the Year

Barrett Tucker March 13, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Great Article – Congratulations Holley Thomas!

kim wesselman March 16, 2015 at 11:19 AM

What a great article on Holley. Congratulations to Holley, Pamela and all women who blaze this trail.

Ed Rojeck March 19, 2015 at 2:06 PM

I had the opportunity to talk with Holley at ABC’s Workforce Conference; she truly honors all craft professionals who are building America. Congratulations, Holley… and, super article!

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