One of the largest GC companies in the United States always seeks to do business with minority companies in their projects as a part of an inclusive work philosophy. They also support the development of these companies, helping them to improve diverse aspects of their business management.

HCAC: Please share with us what is Skanska USA Building’s line of work.

Skanska USA: Skanska is a world leading project development and construction group. Skanska USA Building is a leading national and local provider of construction, pre-construction consulting, general contracting and design-build services to a broad range of U.S. industries, including life sciences, healthcare, education, high-tech, aviation, transportation and sports and entertainment. Skanska employees rarely self-perform fieldwork, and most of the work done is sub-contracted, this is why at Skanska we consider to be Construction Managers.

HCAC: What kind of companies does Skanska subcontract?

S. USA: At Skanska USA we usually make subcontracts with minority companies, as part of the internal project participation goals that they strive to meet. In addition, most of Skanska’s clients have also participation goals on their projects.

Skanska uses minority outreaches, where, along with the use of local applicable certifying agencies, they reach out to trade specific subs inside these databases.

HCAC: Tell us about the process to find eligible subcontractors.

S. USA: Outreach sessions are set up, and the pre-qualification process is explained, the project team is also present at these events, and they cover the questions in regards to project milestones.

HCAC: Once a subcontractor has been hired, does Skanska supervise or support their work?

S. USA: In order to meet our minority participation goals and achieve success on that project, we work closely with our project team and subcontractors to make sure that our subcontractors are receiving all the necessary support to be successful on that project, and possibly future projects.

HCAC: What do you think minority contractors need to get to the next step in business, specifically to work with companies like Skanska?

S. USA: Proper paperwork is always necessary to work with large companies. Our teams evaluate many different aspects of your small business, from having a written safety plan in place for your employees, which is enforced to your financial state and backing. Another suggestion is keeping good records. Sometimes a small business is focused on the trade aspect of their business, and forgets about the “office” aspect. It’s wise to employee a person who can help with paperwork, and help to have all important documents on order and readily available for you to present to large companies when you go and make a bid to work on some of these projects.

HCAC: What does a contractor need to do to maintain an outstanding business relationship with its GC’s?

S. USA: Stay on time, and on budget. If you committed you would be done by a certain date, do everything you can to meet that date, or before. The same applies for your budget. This will go a long way with our project teams, and will definitely set you up to be considered for future business.

HCAC: Any message you want to share with minority contractors?

S. USA: Get to know who is the Diversity Manager or Liaison within any organization with which you are trying to work with. They can help get you started on how to pre-qualify to work with their company, what are the first steps to start building a relationship with them, as well as introducing you to the project team(s). Remember that persistence is the key. Continue to follow up with them without being overbearing. This will show your interest in working with the company, and hopefully will begin a strong and fruitful relationship for the future.

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