Under the Hard Hat with Ashley Dixon

February 4, 2022

Under the Hard Hat with Ashley Dixon

At Clark, we are proud to be made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and talents who thrive and succeed together. Our "Under the Hard Hat" series is designed to showcase the diverse people who make up the Clark team.

We recently sat down with Ashley Dixon, a program coordinator in Kansas City, to learn about her background and what she enjoys most about working in the construction industry.

Describe your background. Where did you grow up?

I’m originally from Beaumont, Texas but relocated to Kansas City when I was seven years old. Moving from the country to a big city was definitely a culture shock, but Kansas City's culture has made an impact on who I am today.  After graduating from high school, I went on to get my bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in human resources from Baker University. 

What job are you currently working in? What are your responsibilities?

I am currently working as the Kansas City International Airport New Terminal project’s workforce retention program coordinator. I also help oversee the Kansas City Strategic Partnership Program. As the retention program coordinator, I am responsible for providing the graduates of the workforce training program with the tools and support necessary to ensure their success as they enter the construction industry. The program is designed to create meaningful opportunities for Kansas City residents with little to no construction experience and consists of three weeks of paid classroom training and direct entry into a paid job after graduating.

A big part of my role is working to identify barriers that participants might face that would hinder their ability to effectively perform their jobs. I’m in constant contact with the graduates and personally check-in weekly either by phone, text, or email. I’m passionate about making sure the graduates stay engaged.

As the Strategic Partnership Program coordinator, I coordinate MBA-style sessions for small business owners and leaders who want to learn core construction management and business skills from the industry to build their firm’s capacity. 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

I am proud to say that my team and I have successfully graduated 168 graduates from the workforce retention program, many of whom are currently onsite working to deliver the New Terminal project.

Additionally, 97 small business firms and leaders have successfully completed the Strategic Partnership Program. Of that number, 22 graduates hold contracts and are now working on, or have worked on, the KCI New Terminal project!

Being able to provide opportunities for the people of Kansas City has been a dream come true. 

What brought you to Clark?

After graduating from Baker University I was looking for a job that would allow me to grow and get out from behind the desk. Clark has allowed me to be creative, be myself, develop a career doing something that I am passionate about: workforce development.

Workforce development is important because it can help increase job satisfaction, enhance innovative thinking, and decrease turnover. Most importantly, workforce development programs teach the participants to be proactive, not reactive, problem solvers.

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

My mother has been my biggest influence in life. She was my best friend and biggest supporter. She died in 2015 of a brain aneurysm. I will always remember her telling me, “Ashley, if you don’t believe in yourself, who else will? Confidence is everything.”

What does "Thrive as You, Succeed Together” mean to you?

Everyone’s individual work is key to the group’s success, no matter what your job is or where you work.