McKenzie Robinson | SBJ

2021 Most Influential Women: Megan Short

Springfield Contractors Association

Posted online

Since taking the helm of the Springfield Contractors Association in 2017, Megan Short has quickly become one of the premier voices representing businesses in the construction industry.

Short, the SCA’s executive director, oversees an association with more than 300 company members and an operating budget over $318,000.

Bringing experience as communications coordinator for the city of Springfield’s Department of Workforce Development to the SCA, Short’s influence is communitywide. She is active at networking events, recruiting and maintaining memberships for the association while directing its continuing development.

“By providing a deeper level of engagement with members, potential members and the community, we are able to focus on workforce development and industry perceptions,” Short says.

What’s more is she leads an industry organization that has historically been dominated by men.

“As a female in a predominantly male industry, I am often one of the only women on a committee or part of the discussion. As a young professional in an industry with a median age of 42.9 years old, I am also one of the youngest people involved in many conversations,” says Short, 34. “I am often able to represent a different demographic and mindset during important conversations.”

Workforce development has been a key focus of the SCA during Short’s tenure. Recently, the organization launched an initiative called Build U, through which high school students gain firsthand learning of numerous trades, visit job sites and get the opportunities to try out job skills such as operating heavy equipment and bending rebar.

“By formalizing workforce development as a focus in our vision, the board was able to provide additional financial resources for initiatives,” says Short.

The SCA has hosted a construction partner summit with nonprofits, government agencies, private businesses and education institutions to discuss partnership opportunities, and Short and team are planning a project for young children this fall called Under Construction: The 4D Experience.

“The event will allow young children to sit in equipment while those in the industry speak with parents about careers in the industry,” she says.

Terracon Consultants Inc. principal Ty Alexander, SCA’s board president, has worked closely with Short to improve the industry. A quality that sticks out to Alexander is that Short is not satisfied with the way things have historically worked.

“Megan has refused to live with the status quo and has consistently guided the SCA with her unique vision, passion and skill set,” Alexander says. “Megan’s enthusiasm and drive are contagious and have resulted in a vision for the SCA that impacts advocacy, community engagement and workforce development.”

Short has a bachelor’s degree in marketing management and an MBA from Missouri State University. She’s been active in the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, The Network and the nonprofit Salute to Design & Construction Council.