AGC diversity program brings inclusivity to dozens of construction companies

The program, Culture of CARE, can help companies create a more diverse workforce and help train employees to spot harassment or discrimination.

June 17, 2020

Just about one month after publicly announcing its new diversity program, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) says dozens of companies have already jumped on board.

Culture of CARE (commit, attract, retain and empower) was created earlier this year, but due to COVID-19, the public announcement of the initiative was delayed until mid-May.

The AGC created Culture of CARE, modeling it after the Washington chapter, who created it in response to an experience at a local jobsite.

“So, we’re asking companies to take a pledge committing to safe, welcoming and inclusive workplaces, that are free of harassment, hazing and bullying,” Brynn Huneke, AGC’s Director of diversity & inclusion and member engagement says.

Since launching last month, Huneke says about 120 companies have taken the pledge so far, and AGC anticipates even more will join in the coming months. She says many chapters around the country are also taking the pledge for their members.

“We have everything from hard hat stickers and job site posters,” Huneke says. While she says those aren’t the tools that will make the most difference, those are the types of things that can start a conversation if someone is unaware of Culture of CARE.

While Culture of CARE was launched before the recent protests about racial inequality across the U.S., but Huneke says this program just speaks to how much diversity is needed, especially in a workplace where employees should feel safe.

“I think it has reinvigorated conversations around diversity and inclusion and racism,” Huneke says. “While we launched the program before this happened, I think it’s really timely and this gives companies an opportunity who want to do something and know that this is the right thing to do.”

Huneke says Culture of CARE is something tangible that companies can use to see growth and help make sure everyone is included, feels valued and feels safe at work.

“Culture is more important than ever, making sure that your employees feel valued and heard and cared about is more important when there’s uncertainty, than when everything is good,” Huneke says.

The AGC also released a report recently, Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion in the Construction Industry, which share the economic, safety and productivity rationale for expanding diversity within construction.