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Construction is a historically male-dominated industry. Drive by a construction site and you expect to see men in hard-hats, not only out in the field, but also directing the action. That obviously doesn’t matter much to Betty Spells Price, founder and Chief Executive Officer of CARBRA Construction.
Price entered the construction industry while employed at the U.S. Postal Service, where she became Facility Activation Coordinator for the Columbia Processing & Distribution Center. She also worked with her brother’s construction company.
“I became fascinated and eager to learn as much as I could,” said Price. Price resigned from the Post Office to begin working full time in construction. In January 2004, she founded CARBRA Construction with herself as the only employee; CARBRA now has five employees.
CARBRA Construction performs both residential and commercial construction, including renovations and additions. Its clients include Richland County School District One and the Columbia Housing Authority.
“Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task,” Price said. “It takes having passion, commitment and a don’t-give-up attitude.”
Obviously, these are characteristics that Price has in abundance. They are also characteristics that have helped her become a trailblazer for women. She has a lot to show for it, too, including her company’s recent contract with Fort Jackson.
That contract came about through both Price’s determination and through the cooperation of the SBA South Carolina District Office and the HUBZone office in Washington, D.C. Initially, Price had applied for HUBZone status for CARBRA Construction. When she learned that Fort Jackson was offering a large contract to a HUBZone firm, she immediately contacted the SBA South Carolina District Office to check on the status of her application. In turn, the South Carolina District Office contacted the HUBZone office in Washington. The HUBZone office in Washington was able to complete CARBRA Construction’s HUBZone application process one day before the end of the federal fiscal year. The following day, CARBRA Construction was awarded the Fort Jackson contract.
And back to that whole question of a woman in a male-dominated industry. “Women have the capacity to do just about anything men can do,” Price said. “I hope my work as a general contractor will inspire young ladies and women to consider becoming entrepreneurs in the construction industry.