PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Public Works recently appointed a long-time employee as its top engineer, making her the first female to hold the role.
Andrea Klopfenstein is the first woman to hold the role of Deputy Director City Engineer. She has been with Peoria Public Works for eight years and has more than two decades of engineering experience.
“I’m excited to step up and see what the new role brings,” she said.
Klopfenstein said she is excited to join the growing number of local women in engineering leadership positions.
“It’s exciting to be part of this time. I’m looking forward to the changes we have. There is amazing engineering talent in Peoria, especially [in] women. If you look at IDOT [Illinois Department of Transportation] and [Peoria] County, they both have women in leadership positions,” she said.
Her management responsibilities include roads, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, street lights, and traffic signals. She said her top priorities are roads and sidewalks.
“Funding often goes to road projects,” she said.
Klopfenstein said there is a national shortage of engineers and encourages young people to get in the field.
“Anyone that is interested in problem-solving, please go into the engineering field. It is not math all the time … there’s actually a lot more to it, and it’s problem-solving,” she said.
And, that shortage might get worse.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, civil engineering jobs are projected to grow by 6.3% by 2028 making the need much more apparent.