Related Midwest Blog

Women's History Month Spotlight: Patricia Brown Knocks Down Barriers and Builds Up Communities

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At Related Midwest, where nearly half our staff are women, we celebrate the work of female trailblazers every day. This Women’s History Month, we’re shining a spotlight on Patricia Brown, Assistant Superintendent, who has played an integral role in bringing quality housing to Chicago’s neighborhoods. 

Patricia’s journey in construction began when she took classes with Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT), a program designed to introduce women to the different opportunities in the trades. CWIT also prepares them for a construction career with in-class learning and hands-on training, which ultimately led to her joining the carpenters union and, brought her to the carpentry division of Quality First, a subsidiary of Related Midwest.

To date, Patricia has worked on Lathrop, Marshall Field Garden Apartment Homes, Universal City Apartments, Northpoint Apartments, Circle Park Apartments, Lakeshore Plaza and The Row Fulton Market. She says the diversity of these projects – ranging from ground-up developments to the preservation of affordable and mixed-income housing communities – has helped hone her skills and devise innovative solutions to unique challenges.  

Currently, Patricia serves as Superintendent on the renovation of a 40,000-square foot warehouse in Bronzeville that will serve as the business and development hub of HIRE360 – a workforce development nonprofit that serves underrepresented populations in the Chicago area. Here she coordinates with different trades, volunteers, material donors, developers, architects and HIRE360 and Related colleagues to help realize the vision of the future training facility. 

Passing her construction expertise on to the next generation of trade workers is a passion of Patricia’s. She serves as an assistant teacher in CWIT’s carpentry classes at the Carpenters Apprentice Training center and is currently working with apprentices at the HIRE360 warehouse on floor installation.

Patricia values her experiences as a carpenter as this work has opened doors she never knew existed. The most fulfilling aspect of her career has been her ability to break barriers, challenge herself and accomplish goals that she was told were out of her reach.