Laura McAnany 
Plant Manager
Ash Grove Cement Company

“I am passionate about manufacturing because it has combined my love of large machinery, world travel, problem-solving and a wide variety of tasks into one exciting career. My career has blossomed and I couldn't be more grateful”

Laura broke one of Ash Grove’s "cement ceilings” when she was hired as the first female plant manager in the company's 136-year history. Since then, she has proved time and again that her hiring was a great decision for the company. At the helm of a plant located near downtown Seattle, Laura has to ensure the plant stays compliant with the city’s strict environmental regulations at all times, a task she handles with skill and care. This plant has also faced severe electricity reliability issues, and Laura has responded admirably, communicating effectively with every city council office and with Seattle City Lights to identify the best path forward to resolution of the problem. Laura has even kept production at the expected levels while dealing with unexpected staffing issues—a testament to her strong leadership and dedication to the company. 

When Laura moved to Seattle, one of her first actions as Plant Manager was to establish new mentoring relationships with women within the Ash Grove system. She has always been, and continues to be, a vocal and active supporter of women throughout the cement industry and in all industrial/manufacturing environments.

Laura has volunteered at the federal, state and local levels to promote technical training to support the skilled trades. Whether working one on one with students at Canmore Community School, speaking with parents of high school students in Alabama and Utah, leading the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Education Work Group, or working on the Central Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment (CAPTE), Laura has made a commitment to break the thought process that "everyone needs to go to college." Instead, she promotes both university and technical training programs so that all needs in the community can be met with a talented and skilled workforce.

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