March is Woman’s History Month, and we’re pretty sure that one of our contractors is making history in northeast Pennsylvania. We’ve known and worked with Rebecca Peterson of Wyoming County for a number of years now. But, last year, our partnership with her ascended to a new level when Rebecca founded Folsom Engineering, LLC. To the best of our knowledge, she is the first female engineer in Wyoming County to run her own company. We are proud to have her in our corner!
“I was drawn to civil engineering because I wanted to be in a technical position that provided an opportunity to work outside,” Rebecca said of her career choice. She graduated from Tunkhannock Area High School and earned degrees in agricultural and biological engineering from Penn State. She also obtained a masters in civil & environmental engineering from Lehigh University.
Rebecca served as a manager in consulting engineering for other companies for 15 years, the last one based in State College. She then started a branch office for them more central to our operations and the Marcellus shale. However, she noticed a disconnect and lag time in productivity on which she felt she could improve.
“I began Folsom to provide a local engineering firm that could offer stable services for my clients with personnel close to their operations and stable positions for local engineers, geologists, and scientists,” Rebecca explained. Folsom Engineering got off the ground just as the coronavirus hit. The pandemic didn’t affect the company’s workload, but the situation hindered plans to establish a physical location. Rebecca currently runs the business from the family farmstead in Mehoopany Township.
Folsom provides design and permitting services for well pads, pipelines, waterlines, compressor stations, and water withdrawals. They also offer construction and post-construction inspection services, as well as environmental due diligence, environmental compliance and applications of Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program. Needless to say, these are all important to Cabot. For this reason, Folsom has become one of our go-to third-party firms.
“Cabot provides the stability that a new, local start-up company needs to succeed,” Rebecca said of our partnership. “They make sure that invoices are paid promptly, and they support local businesses to ensure that they can be successful and provide long-term support for Cabot’s local operations.” Rebecca is modest about the historical aspect of her position, but we asked her how female engineers fare among their male counterparts. The number of women in engineering is growing, she maintains, but not at the rate of other STEM professions.
“Women represent roughly 15 percent of the engineering workforce, but that is up from roughly five percent in the 1980s,” Rebecca related. “So the number of women in management roles is likely lower than 15 percent because of the experience required for those roles.”
As we move forward as partners, Folsom Engineering is ready for growth of its own. Rebecca is now considering sites for a permanent office. She even hopes to add another engineer and an environmental scientist to her staff of six within a month.
“One of the biggest qualities that we are looking for is that they understand customer service,” Rebecca expressed. “We want them to be invested in the project and taking care of the clients and making sure that nothing goes wrong.”