WIC Week 2023: Andrea Bartheidel

Andrea Bartheidel

truck driver / teamster

How did you get your start in construction?

I used to work at a convenience store making minimum wage 15 years ago. I knew a foreman at a concrete company who was doing work on the windmill farm next to my hometown in Texas, who told me if I got my CDL he would help me get a job driving a ready-mix truck. So, I worked my rear off getting my CDL. He had to really talk HIS boss into letting me even try to work there as a female. I was the very first female driver they had considered hiring. They made me go out to see if I could lift the truck chutes on the mixer. It was a very male-dominated career there. Needless to say, by the end of 6 months my boss had me training new drivers. Lol, he always told me he was worried about hiring me but now, he would rather have a women driver work for him than a man. From there I drove all kinds of trucks, trucks with trailers, and even equipment. I have been in asphalt, quarries, and now road construction with Ames Construction. My main love is driving the side-dump.

I got into construction to support my family better. At the time I was a single mom and it was hard trying to work construction hours and parent 3 boys, but it has definitely helped me be able to pave (no pun intended) their way for a better start in life. I even met my husband in construction, and it is something we both love.

What is a challenge you've had to overcome to be successful?

Ttrying to raise a family, working long hours, time away from home, and the stigma of women drivers not being able to drive.

What advice would you give a young girl interested in construction?

To do it. The environment for women has been changing for the better over the years. There is a lot more acceptance and help that everyone will give. It’s a great career to support yourself or even your family.

Who was one of your biggest influences or mentors in your career?

My biggest influence in construction was that foreman who gave me a chance. I still talk to him all the time. If he hadn’t given me a chance, I don’t know where I would be now.