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Maggie Hardy Knox is president and owner of 84 Lumber. Courtesy of 84 Lumber.

As a woman-owned business, March is a celebratory month for 84 Lumber.

In addition to March being Women’s History Month, it’s also home to Women in Construction Week (March 7-13), which highlights women as a viable component of the construction industry. To honor the company’s president and owner, Maggie Hardy Knox, and its countless women associates and partners, 84 Lumber launched a social media and billboard campaign celebrating the women who hold different positions within the company.

“We make it a priority to support women across our entire industry,” Amy Smiley, vice president of marketing at 84 Lumber, said. “We want to be a part of this important conversation.”

Hardy Knox said the construction industry offers endless opportunities for women – or men – to succeed and create their own paths.

“There’s equal opportunity for everyone with immense opportunity for growth,” she said. “It can be exciting and is constantly changing; it offers women a wealth of opportunity. It’s an industry that is growing and looking for people, and we’re determined to find the next generation of 84 Lumber team members who want to build a career.”

She encourages young women, regardless of their career path or industry, to work hard and be passionate.

“My advice is whether you choose this industry or another, your hard work and dedication will separate you from anyone else and make you stand out,” said Hardy Knox.

To offer support to other women-owned businesses making a difference in the region, 84 Lumber has partnered with the Pittsburgh Penguins to introduce the EmpowerHer Grant. The grant will provide $25,000 to one woman-owned business in Western Pennsylvania that has contributed to its own community at-large, especially throughout the pandemic.

“The Leading and Inspiring Females to Thrive (L.I.F.T.) EmpowerHer Grant initiative is the perfect way for us to celebrate Women’s History Month,” Smiley said. “This month, and all year round, we are constantly looking for ways to support local businesses as well as local women within our communities. We can’t wait to connect with incredible entrepreneurs and award one deserving business with the EmpowerHer Grant!”

Nominations were open to the public from March 5 through March 18. Those submitting the nominations were asked to answer a series of questions, including how the grant money could make a difference for the winning business and their community. That helped a 84 LUMBER CELEBRATES WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH panel of 84 Lumber and Penguins employees narrow the entries down to a group of finalists. Fan and community members can vote for the winner online through April 6 on the Penguins’ website.

“We’re two powerful brands,” Smiley said. “We wanted to come up with something good for the community.”

As a part of their partnership with the Penguins, Smiley said 84 Lumber also sponsored a ‘Her’ hockey night and a virtual panel that featured professional women from the Pittsburgh area.

“This really has been a collaborative effort,” Smiley said. “With 250 locations across 30 states, we try to support the communities where we live, work and play.”

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