After being told that she wasn’t college bound after graduating high school in 1996, Erika May was still determined to challenge herself to create a future she would be proud of.
May, from Clyde, became interested in working in the construction field, which is historically a male-dominated field, after applying for a four-year operating engineer apprenticeship. As an operating engineer, May learned to operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers and excavators. Her new-found interest in construction lead her to wanting to become a project manager.
She started taking classes towards her degree at Terra State in 2011 but transferred to the University of Toledo to complete her bachelor’s degree, after she ran out of higher-level math courses to take at Terra State.
She received her Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at the University of Toledo in 2015 and was recognized as student of the year for the University of Toledo in 2014.
Unlike others, she received her associate's degree after receiving her bachelor’s degree. May graduated from Terra State in 2018 with an Associate of Science.
After speaking at the 2018 Women’s Leadership Forum in the Neeley Center, an academic advisor mentioned to May that the only credit missing to receive her associate's degree was for a speech class. The academic advisor reviewed her participation in WLF and used the experience to count as her last credit, officially completing her degree.
“Terra State was the best choice for me because of the small class sizes and proximity to home. Additionally, as a single mother, Terra State made the most financial sense for my family,” said May.
May currently is a project manager for Hi-Way Paving, a construction company that completes airport, military and highway projects dealing with concrete paving. Previously, she served as estimator and project engineer for The Lathrop Company, where she also completed four co-ops during her undergraduate studies. As a project manager, May works on-site of the current projects she is overseeing. As of January 2021, she is working at the Nashville International Airport, managing the reconstruction of the 2R/20L runway and associated taxiways.
“In my role as project manager, I’m primarily tasked with project coordination between the owner of the project and our company,” said May, “I also oversee turning in pay applications to the owner, tracking quantities, managing subcontractors and vendors, and dealing with any safety or security issues that arise.”
Job TitleProject Manager