Kent State Supplier Diversity Partners With Turner School of Construction Management on Groundbreaking Pilot Program
Last fall, the Kent State University Supplier Diversity Program launched the Kent State University/Turner School of Construction Workshop Series. The series provides construction training, technical expertise and benchmarking of best practices to diverse businesses.
Created in collaboration with the Office of University Architect and the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, as well as industry-leading Turner Construction Company, the nine-month workshop series empowers participants by developing their construction management skills and enriching their knowledge of the construction industry.
“This workshop explores the three-way intersection between private construction and state of Ohio construction along with the regulations for both, as well as academics,” says Veronica Cook-Euell, Kent State's supplier diversity program manager. “We are building onto Turner’s existing construction-management training program and integrating it into Kent State by providing industry expertise.”
Thomas Euclide, associate vice president, Facilities Planning and Operations, says the program will benefit Kent State University and all state institutions of higher education. “The knowledge gained by the participants from the partners will help reduce the cost and time to complete construction projects by providing the tools necessary to be more efficient.”
The workshop’s pilot class consists of 16 participants. They have been meeting once a month since September and are expected to complete the series in May 2017. Each workshop operates around a central theme or topic, ranging from hands-on field operations to estimating, bidding and scheduling as well as accounting, marketing strategies and more.
The overall goal of the program is to develop contractors who have been identified by Kent State Procurement/Supplier Diversity and the Office of the University Architect and acclimate them to the university’s contracting process with the full understanding of what is required for state construction, as well as private-industry construction.
“We are excited about our partnership with Kent State University on this workshop series,” says Jason Jones, vice president and general manager of Turner Construction Company, “as it provides an opportunity to jointly develop the enrolled businesses with the hope to one day see them provide their services to both Kent State and Turner.”
Turner has a long history of providing training and other resources to develop and expand the capabilities of small, minority- and women-owned businesses in the communities where it works.
“This program is monumental – the first of its kind with this type of collaboration,” Cook-Euell says. “Although a pilot program this year, established contractors can only benefit from this blend of services, strategies, education and benchmarking.”
I. Richmond Nettey, associate dean and professor in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, says the workshop exists in tandem with Kent State President Beverly Warren’s vision for the university. By partnering with an industry leader to provide critically needed continuing education and training in construction management for local practitioners and small businesses, the university also contributes to ‘Priority 4 – Regional Impact’ of the university's Strategic Roadmap, which calls for the university to serve as an “engaged partner to meet community needs and enhance quality of life in the region and state,” Nettey says.
To learn more about Kent State’s Procurement/Supplier Diversity Program and the Kent State University/Turner School of Construction Workshop Series, visit www.kent.edu/procurement/diversity.