Daily Reporter Women in Construction 2023
Honors Caryn Rader

August 17, 2023 — The Daily Reporter honored 50 trailblazing Women in Construction during the sixth annual awards and networking event on Thursday at Discovery World in downtown Milwaukee. Caryn Rader from Hooper was among those recognized.

When Caryn Rader was 9 years old, she took on her first construction project.

The youngster drew a floor plan for the installation of a ballet bar in her bedroom.

“My father was an architect, and at that time I guess I thought I’d be an architect/ballerina,” Rader said.

Her father was partly right. Rader followed her dad and went into the construc­tion industry. She started her career in the U.S. Coast Guard as a marine engineer and later transitioned to HVAC engineering for a design-build contractor.

In 2018, she joined Hooper as a project engineer in the mechanical division – HVAC.

“I most enjoy the challenge of creating or transforming something and being able to see the finished product afterward,” she said. “I love walking through a job site and seeing how the men and women in the field convert my design from a 3D computer model into reality. They bring it to life.”

One of the biggest adjustments Rader had to make after entering the industry is becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable.

“The biggest growth happens outside of my comfort zone,” she said. “I real­ized a long time ago that I’d never be content doing the same thing every day. Sure, I’d get good at it, but I’d be bored. It’s fulfilling to continue to learn and grow through my career. Encounters with new and challenging situations are just a part of that process.”

Rader is currently involved in the HVAC system design of the new McKenzie Regional Workforce Center in Fitchburg. The project involves remodeling an existing 1960’s building with tight space constraints to install a new high-ef­ficient heating and cooling system.

“When the McKenzie Center opens this fall it will help train and connect a new generation of young people with the skilled trades industry,” said Mary Novotny, marketing specialist with Hooper. “Inspiring youth, especially those with diverse backgrounds, is a focus of Caryn’s volunteer efforts in the community.”