The Associated General Contractors of America is launching a new, nationwide program designed to help expand the diversity of the industry by making job sites more inclusive.
The new program, called Culture of CARE (commit, attract, retain and empower), is designed to help firms create more welcoming workplace environments for staff, particularly those from diverse demographic backgrounds.
"We are asking companies to take bold and visible steps toward creating a more diverse, safe, welcoming and inclusive construction industry," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. This new program will help firms attract the kind of diverse staff that research shows help construction firms become more innovative, safe, effective and profitable.
The new Culture of CARE program calls on construction firms to sign a pledge to create more welcoming and inclusive workplace cultures. After firms sign the pledge, the association will work with them to provide training and suggested human resources practices designed to help them put action behind their pledge and establish more inclusive workplaces. There also are broader educational materials available from the Culture of CARE program, including sample HR policies, toolbox talks, job site posters and hardhat stickers.
Sandherr noted that the national Culture of CARE program is based on a program first launched by the association's AGC of Washington chapter in the Pacific Northwest. The national association's Diversity & Inclusion Council evaluated the Washington state program and determined that it was a powerful tool to support the industry's efforts to become more diverse and inclusive.
The association unveiled the new Culture of CARE program in March during its annual convention in Las Vegas. Association officials added that it was part of a broader strategy to make the construction industry more diverse and inclusive. In addition to the new program, the association has already released its Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion in the Construction Industry, which provides the economic, safety and productivity rationale for expanding construction diversity.
"Culture of CARE has the potential to support a broad expansion of the diversity of the construction industry," said Rita Brown, the chair of the association's Diversity & Inclusion Council. "We want to provide the tools firms need to recruit, retain and support people of all backgrounds."
For more information about Culture of CARE, visit http://www.buildculture.org.