March 24, 2020

Associated General Contractors of America Also Recognizes Austin Commercial, Hensel Phelps, Central Builders, United Rentals and the AGC of Missouri for their Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Chester’s Smith Flooring Inc. was named as the 2019 Diverse Business of the Year award winner by the Associated General Contractors of America, association officials announced today.  The association also awarded Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Awards, sponsored by Willis Towers Watson, to Austin Commercial, Hensel Phelps, Central Builders, United Rentals 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,” said Dirk Elsperman, the association’s president and executive vice president and chief operations officer of Tarlton Corporation in St. Louis, Mo. “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 the Delaware Valley where the company operates. 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.

In addition to naming Smith Flooring as the Diverse Business of the Year, Elsperman also announced five other winners of the association’s third annual Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Awards.  Austin Commercial, based in the Texas state capitol, won the Association’s first-ever Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Grand Award, which goes the firm who scores the highest number of points out of any of the Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Categories. Hensel Phelps, located in the DC metro area, won the Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award for a large contractor. The Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award for a small contractor went to Central Builders in San Antonio, Texas.  The Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award for a service or supply firm went to United Rentals. And the Diversity & Inclusion Chapter Award went to the AGC of Missouri.

The six 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 & inclusion, workforce diversity & inclusion initiatives and subcontractor/supply chain diversity & inclusion initiatives, Elsperman noted.

For more information about the AGC Diversity & Inclusion Awards, please click here.