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May 20, 2022
Absher Construction Co.
Absher is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. It currently has 253 employees representing six different cultures, including 49 minority and 48 female team members. While Absher is proud of where it was in 2018 when it received the first Champion of Diversity Award, the work of diversity, equity and inclusion is long-term. Absher has many new efforts and programs since then to continue to become a more equitable organization.
Absher believes that fostering a culture of care is not only critical to having a diverse and inclusive workplace, but it is inherent in its core values: Absher cares about people. Absher is a servant leader. It does things right. It does right things.
Absher’s Culture of Care means that it is committed to hiring a diverse workforce and fostering an inclusive environment for all team members, and it achieves this by caring for its co-workers in mindfulness words and actions. Absher is mindful about the differences, experiences, knowledge and talents each of its employees brings to the team. These considerations are part of its planning and processes for procuring work, hiring, and setting compensation and benefits.
Absher creates a positive environment using respectful and inclusive language that values every member of the team. The words it uses reflect its diversity of team, support an environment of respectful communication, and foster cooperation and teamwork. Absher puts into practice policies, procedures and plans that are inclusive and support the needs of the diverse staff and help it to continually attract team members from every background.
With regard to its trade partners, Absher provides mentoring and training opportunities for DBE, Section 3- and women/minority-owned businesses. Absher introduced a Business Equity Enterprise buyout tracking program on the UW Oak Hall project. UW embraced it and is now incorporating it into its standard operating procedures on all projects. All contractors are now following this format to show contract dollars paid or awarded to BEE firms. Absher currently has four mentor-protege relationships with MBE/WMBE firms.
Absher University provides an in-house curriculum of educational courses to small businesses, including all facets of construction project management, construction craft skills, construction software technical courses, construction regulations, OSHA training and more.
Absher provides a project-compliance software class for SBEs including MBE/WBE/DBE firms that have first time or limited experience using software like Procore, GC Pay and LCP Tracker. Classes are led by Absher’s IT and accounting departments. The company hosts free small business summits focusing on building relationships with local contractors, providing them with valuable information on a variety of business topics and how to bid work with Absher. For 2021, these summits moved to a virtual monthly meeting due to COVID.
Absher’s commitment to diversifying the industry is long-term and holistic, including the launch this year of the BIPOC student scholarship to encourage students to pursue careers in construction. Absher staff members serve on pre-apprenticeship program boards that help women and people of color obtain careers in construction trade.