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Sweden-based company highlights women working on Dominion offshore wind project

A construction company is working with the Port of Virginia to create a staging port for Dominion Energy's offshore wind project off Virginia Beach's coast.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — This week is National Women in Construction Week. One company working on a local project is highlighting the women in the industry.

Construction company Skanska is working with the Port of Virginia to redevelop about 72 acres to create a staging port to hold equipment for Dominion Energy's offshore wind project.

The project aims to build 176 wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach. The development is needed because no ports or wharves have the capacity to hold the equipment needed to build the wind farms, according to Lisa Flittner, a project engineer for Skanska.

More than 10,000 cubic yards of concrete will be demolished. The concrete deck pouring will start next month.

Flittner said she’s the only woman project engineer on-site. She said this project highlights a need for women in the construction workforce, adding that as more women join the field, they are also bringing different ideas.

“It’s not everyone thinking the same way," Flittner said. "So, you get the best option when you have multiple perspectives.”

According to the National Association of Women in Construction, women account for nearly 11% of the construction industry workforce.

“It can be hard when you’re the only one in the room, both as a young person and a woman," Michelle Kleinau, a Dominion Energy project engineer, said. It can be hard to gain the respect of the people around you."

Kleinau is working on designs for the project. She said it’s the support from other women in the industry that continue to inspire her at work.

“Just having one other person in the room with you to show you ‘I’m here’ and that’s someone that you can learn from,” she said.

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