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April 13, 2020
Every year our team in San Diego participates in the Construction & Collaboration Mentor Protégé Program, offering guidance from the technical to the administrative to the interpersonal to two professional protégés—small contractors or up-and-coming trade firms looking to expand their reach and capacity.
“Protégés meet with our people every few weeks over a period that can span two years so while the program is small, it is certainly intensive and personal. We really get to know each other,” explained Vera Howell, one of the program’s co-founders and manager of Community and Citizenship for Turner in San Diego. “It’s almost like a private Turner School of Construction Management tailored to one or two participants. They sit with folks in every department, shadow them on the job, ask questions, and build relationships that can make a big difference for them.”
She added that while Turner is not the only prime contractor who participates as a mentor, other participants tend to take on only one protégé at a time. “I am really proud of our people for stepping up and saying let’s do more, let’s go further when it comes to supporting small firms in our industry,” she said. “Particularly when it comes to businesses led by members of underrepresented groups we’ve got data that shows this type of engagement is critical. And not just for them—strengthening the pool of trade partners and enhancing the pipeline of skilled workers is also important for us and for our industry peers.”
Recent protégés include Amerivet, a disabled veteran-owned contractor who completed the Turner School of Construction Management program before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, became a protégé through the Construction & Collaboration program, and now works as a Turner sub on multiple projects, and 77 Electrical Services, a women-owned electrical contractor who found the program as part of a search for a professional mentor and now, too, serves as a Turner sub on a large airport project.
“Both 77 Electrical and Amerivet participated in our Supplier Diversity Day during Construction Inclusion Week this year,” added Vera. “They came and spoke to the value of mentorship and the ongoing partnership between us, which gave us all chance to connect and say a mutual thank you. It felt the start of yet another chapter in our relationship. I know the whole San Diego team is eager to see what’s next for them.”