My name is Kaye Klinefelter, and I own and operate Northland Paving. As much as I'm proud to be one of only a handful of women operating companies traditionally run by men, it's not what is most important to me. I am part of a team of hard-working men and women who work together to ensure we do our best every day. That isn't a slogan; it's our commitment. I grew up in a family with four brothers, and as one of two girls, I learned the valuable art of negotiating, the importance of compromise, and the meaning of promises kept.
Northland Paving is a woman-owned business, but without the team in the field working on getting projects done, it doesn't matter who owns the business. I promise to promote women and to give them a hand up in a business that needs them while maintaining the health and wellness of the many men that have helped to build this great company.
Women In Business
As the owner of Northland Paving, my focus has been and will be on the quality of our team of workers. They are my first customer because nothing else will come together without their commitment and hard work. I'm hesitant to make a big deal of being a woman-owned business because it's the least exciting thing about us. The underreported truth is that the trades offer so many remarkable career opportunities for women who can prosper in traditionally male-dominated industries. By touting my credentials as a seasoned professional in this trade as well as being female, I hope to encourage other women and women of color to join us in building a fantastic career with us.
I heard a comment some years ago that more women aren't part of this trade because the work is too hard. What a foolishly false statement. Women around the country are thriving in this industry because they work hard and enjoy the challenges. In a recent video featuring a story about an all-female paving crew, one of the women in charge of the effort to bring this group together says, "This isn't a man's job; it's a person's job." How true! In our industry, every able person is welcome.
We work closely with the Women of Asphalt (WofA), which has dedicated much of its mission to cultivating and developing female talent at all levels of the asphalt industry. WofA has developed a series of fantastic videos highlighting the remarkable opportunities for women within the industry from every state in the country. We have partnered with other female-led companies in Minnesota to bring the national work of WofA to our state.
You can find out more about both groups by clicking on these.
My company is dedicated to putting out a great product and giving our customers what they need, and to do that, we need great people. We won't just hire anyone; we want men and women motivated to work, make great money, and enjoy the camaraderie that defines our crews. Having more women in our crews would make me proud, and I'm committed to that mission. Northland Paving is already home to a terrific group of workers; having a few more, regardless of their gender, will only make us better.