Smith Flooring Inc., Chester, Pennsylvania, was named the 2019 Diverse Business of the Year award winner by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), association officials announced March 24. The association also awarded Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Awards to Austin Commercial, Austin, Texas; Hensel Phelps, Greenly, Colorado; Central Builders, San Antonio, Texas; United Rentals, Stamford, Connecticut; and the AGC of Missouri.
“These awards honor member firms and chapters that have established exceptional programs dedicated to expanding the diversity – and with it the strength – of the construction industry,” says Dirk Elsperman, AGC’s president, as well as executive vice president and chief operations officer of Tarlton Corporation, St. Louis, Missouri. “Diversity and inclusion is about much more than just hiring different people. It is about creating a new mindset and a new culture within your firms.”
Elsperman noted that from the beginning, Smith Flooring has been committed to employing individuals from the underserved communities of Delaware Valley in Texas. Smith Flooring also developed a workshop called Smith Shop that gives students, emerging professionals and local community members an opportunity to become tomorrow’s building leaders.
The awards were presented during the association’s annual convention in Las Vegas earlier this month. A diverse panel of judges, representing all aspects of construction, evaluated the submissions based on three criteria: corporate commitment to diversity and inclusion, workforce diversity and inclusion initiatives and subcontractor/supply chain diversity and inclusion initiatives, Elsperman noted.