Women in Construction: Kate Werley, Controller at Northeast Prestressed Products

March 13, 2023

Join us in celebrating the 25th Annual Women in Construction Week™️ (March 5-11) with a blog series highlighting the value and ingenuity women bring to our member businesses. We’ll also feature careers and opportunities available to women interested in a rewarding, full-time job and being a part of the precast, prestressed concrete industry’s bright future.

PCI-MA: How do you describe your job to people?

Kate: I handle all the financial transactions for our company. We are generally thought of as a manufacturer, but because we are contract based, we must use cost of completion accounting. This adds an additional challenge to the job. That method of accounting requires me to estimate the percentage of completion for each job we have open.


PCI-MA: How did your career journey lead you to your company?

Kate: My career journey has gone in a variety of directions. From meteorology, to history, to accounting, and then child development. My first bachelor's degree is in Social Science with a minor in Child Development. After working as a preschool teacher for several years, I realized it wasn’t for me and went back to school to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. I knew I wanted to work as a corporate accountant. I worked my way up from accounts payable to a staff accountant position at Rentokil. One of my co-workers took the controller position at NPP and suggested I interview for a new assistant controller position he was creating. Several years later, the controller position at NPP was available and the president and vice president believed that I would be a good fit. Now, after 2 years in the position, I feel much more confident in my ability to handle whatever challenge may come up.


PCI-MA: What is one of the greatest challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome it?

Kate: Implementing our new accounting software several years ago was probably the greatest challenge. We had to imagine any future scenario and build the potential to handle it into the architecture of the software. It took a lot of long hours, patience, and cooperation across all departments of our company to get it completed.


PCI-MA: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Kate: I like the independence to complete my work and meet deadlines. I can be a competitive person but because I’m a department of one I compete against myself to try and make each month-end close smoother than the previous month. I also enjoy working in excel. Anytime a co-worker has a question or problem with excel I like trying to figure out a solution for them.


PCI-MA: Do you have a mentor or role model?  If so, how does this person support you in your personal and professional growth?

Kate: The two previous controllers at NPP taught me a lot. The three of us had worked together at a different company previously and it is because of them that I have my current job at NPP. They each had different backgrounds in manufacturing and construction, so I was able to learn from some of their past experiences.


PCI-MA: What are your career and life aspirations and goals?

Kate: I would like to earn an MBA sometime in the next ten years so that I can contribute more to the business discussions at NPP and have a greater understanding of ways that our company can grow.


PCI-MA: What advice would you give a young woman entering the construction industry?

Kate: Don’t be intimidated. If you don’t understand how a manufacturing or construction operation works, then ask the question or even better ask if you can see a process being done. It really helped me to see our manufacturing process in action.

About Northeast Prestressed Products LLC

Northeast Prestressed Products (NPP) maintains office, production, storage and fleet operations on a 28-acre site in Cressona, Pa., strategically located near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 80, and other major transportation arteries. NPP serves agencies and contractors from Virginia to Maine, and hauls most elements with its own fleet, which includes customized trailers for delivering bulb-tee girders in the 175-ft. range – a size class for which the producers have been a forerunner in the Mid-Atlantic and New England Markets. Among its most notable recent projects, NPP delivered 52 bulb-tee girders for the Coplay-Northampton Bridge in Eastern Pennsylvania. Also known as the Chestnut Street Bridge, the three-span structure consists of five lines of our spliced bulb-tees, each with four grouted P-T tendons. For a project quote, email us at nppinfo@npp-llc.com.



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