Make the Holidays Happy with Safety in your Stocking

For some of us, the holidays are filled with comical visions of lights that don’t blink, avalanches of snow falling from rooftops onto unsuspecting relatives and kitchen cooking escapades that end in mild disaster. While those might be funny on the movie or TV screen, the holidays can be packed with very real opportunities for serious injury.

On our jobsites, we plan every day to prevent potentially dangerous incidents. We invest in equipment and training so we are always prepared. Failing to carefully consider the downsides of household holiday chores – like stringing outdoor lights or deep frying a turkey – can be just as dangerous.

Here are some ways you can translate jobsite safety to home safety:

Plan for the job before you start – similar to our jobsite Daily Hazard Analysis – including gathering supplies, tools, and protective gear;

Stretch and warm up before carrying heavy objects like trees, presents, and lawn ornaments to their destination;

• Consider the proper protective gear for the job you’re doing, including eye protection and gloves. Depending on the task, respiratory and hearing protection and even a hard hat may also be required;

Keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher handy – or at least know where they are should you need them;

Rather than climb on the roof or a ladder, hang holiday lights with an extension pole while standing at ground level;

When stringing electrical decorations, use the proper gauge wires and extension cords and be careful not to overload circuits;

Eliminate fire hazards, including open flames from candles and placing Christmas trees too close to heating elements like radiators and baseboards;

• Practice good housekeeping in the kitchen by cleaning clutter from countertops; don’t overcrowd the stove or oven to prevent holiday meals from catching fire or falling from their perch;

Never drive when you are tired or compromised by “holiday cheer;” stay alert by eliminating distractions including cell phones;

• Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Discover more safety tips in this great graphic from the National Safety Council:

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A safe holiday is a fun holiday – we hope you enjoy yours!

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Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Empowering Our Partners

Investing in our industry’s future isn’t just important, it is essential.

And whether we’re building big jobs like New York City’s redeveloped LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B or smaller but no less important projects in markets across the country, we need to ensure we have qualified subcontractors on which we can call to get the job done.

To that end, we created our Construction Management Building Blocks (CMBB) program, a free, multi-week course designed to give minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) the tools and knowledge needed to secure contracts and create jobs. Now in its 10th year, the program is initiated, organized and taught by Skanska USA in areas of need across the country.  To date, we’ve run programs in Cincinnati, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, Detroit, Memphis, Tampa, Houston and more – with approximately 1,000 companies completing the course.

One of the more recent graduating classes saw representatives of 34 New York-based companies receive training on the procedures, pre-qualifications, certifications, project requirements and contracting opportunities associated with the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B redevelopment project, our largest global project ever. The graduates – some attending weekly from as far away as Syracuse, NY – add to the growing list of MWBEs that are now able to qualify for bidding on current and future redevelopment work at LaGuardia and at other projects throughout the New York Metro and upstate regions.

Nearly 35 New York-based companies graduated from Skanska’s Construction Management Building Blocks Program, a seven-week course designed to create opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

On November 10, 2016, 34 New York-based companies graduated from Skanska’s Construction Management Building Blocks Program, a seven-week course designed to create opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

“Skanska is committed to the vision set by Governor Cuomo to increase opportunity for minority- and women-owned business enterprises across New York State,” said Thomas Nilsson, Vice President and LaGuardia Central Terminal B Project Officer, Skanska USA. “The Building Blocks program is an innovative and vital investment in the MWBE community that represents the future of Skanska and the construction industry in New York.”

The program was made possible through Skanska’s partnerships with LaGuardia Community College and the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

“This collaborative and timely program reflects our commitment to helping women- and minority-owned small business owners have the knowledge and ability to compete for construction contracts, specifically those emerging from the rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “LaGuardia Community College and LaGuardia Airport share the same namesake – and we are proud to further support Fiorello H. La Guardia’s legacy to ensure that people of all backgrounds have access to the same opportunities and our city has a world-class airport.”

“One of New York City’s greatest strengths is its rich diversity,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Mayor de Blasio is committed to ensuring that city contractors reflect this diversity and I am proud to support this work. Our department is here to help all minority- and women-owned businesses who want to learn more about how to do business with the city.”

Graduates of the Construction Management Building Blocks (CMBB) program will have the opportunity to bid on contracts associated with Skanska's work on the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport's Central Terminal B.

Graduates of CMBB are provided the knowledge and tools required to bid on Skanska contracts, such as the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal B, above.

On November 10, 2016, we completed our first-ever CMBB course in the growing Pittsburgh market, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. Skanska’s expansion to Pittsburgh was an outgrowth of successful CMBB sessions at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State University and Rutgers University in New Jersey.

“We are committed to creating jobs and sharing best practices in the communities where we work,” said Skanska USA General Manager Ed Szwarc. “By partnering with University of Pittsburgh, we offer underrepresented businesses the opportunity to expand, gain valuable operational skills and take their careers to the next level.”

While participation in CMBB does not guarantee future contracts, it provides a platform for contractors to interact with industry professionals and city and state leaders to receive information and training on how to bid on contracts. It additionally provides an opportunity for subcontractors to develop relationships with industry professionals and one another, forming bonds and strategic partnerships for the future.

“The Construction Management Building Blocks Program shows just how much Pitt cares about being a good neighbor to the City of Pittsburgh as well as how much we want to reach out to Pittsburgh’s citizens and make a real and lasting difference in the lives of people,” said Scott Bernotas, associate vice chancellor of facilities management for the University of Pittsburgh.

Skanska employees and program participants attend the Construction Management Building Blocks program graduation that took place during Skanska’s Diversity and Inclusion Week. The training program provides small minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses with the information and tools they need to successfully compete for subcontracting work on large construction projects.

In Cincinnati, Skanska employees and program participants attend the Construction Management Building Blocks program graduation that took place during Skanska’s Diversity and Inclusion Week in October 2016. The training program provides small minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses with the information and tools they need to successfully compete for subcontracting work on large construction projects.

In Cincinnati, the CMBB program graduated seven, local, small minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses from its 12-week program in October 2016, arming them with the information and tools they need to effectively compete for subcontracting work on large construction projects.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for a small company like mine,” said Lisa Timley, CEO of Hollywood Cleaning Services, LLC. “To be able to attend a program to enhance all areas needed to grow my business was very beneficial.”

With the proven success and growing desire from small businesses across the country, Skanska and its partners are already engaged in accelerated planning for sessions beginning in 2017.

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Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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We Also Build Smiles

Sometimes Building What Matters takes on a whole new meaning.

Our team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL knew they were building a new research and education center directly across from the hospital’s infusion center where children receive regular chemotherapy treatments for a variety of cancers.  They knew there were kids fighting for their lives in that hospital, watching out the window at the hard hats and construction equipment.

“Every day, you walk into the cafeteria and walk past the kids,” says Assistant Project Manager Brandon Page. “You see the issues they are dealing with from the chemo. And you want to help make their day a little brighter.”

Each Friday, the nurses hold what they call a “Friday Dance Party” with the kids to celebrate getting through another week of arduous medical treatment and to lift their spirits. They play music, dance and – as one nurse puts it – “just let loose and have fun.”

Brandon, along with General Superintendent Todd Collier, Project Engineer Justin Koenen, and Assistant Superintendent Calin Noonan, decided to bring the “Friday Dance Party” outside to the job site, complete with multicolored signs and their best moves. The video from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital sets up the story:

Shortly after the first Friday Dance Party, Justin bumped into one of the nurses on campus, who told him the following week, November 4, would be the 13th birthday of a young girl named Katelyne – who was also receiving her last chemotherapy treatment that day before being permanently discharged from the hospital where she had lived since June.

Sensing an opportunity, the crew mobilized a banner – which they signed – and mounted a special “Friday Birthday Dance Party” especially for Katelyne, who watched with her family from her window across the way.

Later, some of the crew visited Katelyne in her room. “She teared up when we brought the signed banner in,” said Justin.

Katelyne Ballesteros had a special happy 13th birthday message from the Skanska construction crew she's been watching from her window of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Left to right are Katelyne, Todd Collier, Justin Koenen, and Calin Noonan.

Katelyne had a special happy 13th birthday message from the Skanska construction crew she’s been watching from her window of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Left to right are Katelyne, Todd Collier, Justin Koenen, and Calin Noonan.

“Seeing the kids and the positive energy of the nurses makes this more than just a project,” said Todd. “Everyone on the project willingly and gladly participates, including all of our subcontractors.”

“It’s so sad for these kids to be going through this. I have a four-year-old and I can’t imagine it,” says Brandon. “They’re innocent and they’ve done nothing wrong. To have to go through something like this is unfair. So anything we can do to give back we do. It should be everybody’s responsibility to do the same.”

Take a look at the full photo album of Katelyne’s Birthday – and her last day in the hospital – here.

Katelyne presented our Skanska USA team with this handmade thank you card for their uplifting effort for her birthday sendoff.

Katelyne presented our Skanska USA team with this handmade thank you card for their uplifting effort for her birthday sendoff.

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Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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At Duke University, a Remarkable Transformation

Updating a historic or beloved structure carries its unique challenges.

At Duke University, Skanska was tasked on The Duke West Union project to restore the dining halls at the union building, designed by Horace Trumbauer in 1920, while inserting a new full-service dining environment and activity spaces for students to interact and socialize.  This ambitious renovation began in 2013 and was needed to accommodate a growing student body, while also providing a modern and exciting campus experience.

Skanska Project Manager Will Senner is a Duke alumnus who played a key role in helping to complete the stunning renovation. Constructive Thinking spoke with him about the project.

The Duke Union Dining Hall spaces have remained intact, restored to their original architectural significance, while the core of the building was demolished to allow for a new open atrium, housing a variety of dining venues. A vertical glass south facing wall overlooking the plaza and West Union Quad provides views and natural daylighting. The project is pursuing LEED Silver Certification with sustainability features such as heat recovery wheels, solar hot water heating and storm water collection, and reuse.

CT: Tell us about how you came to work on the project.

WS: I graduated from Duke in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Engineering Management. I started with Skanska shortly afterward and spent my first four years in preconstruction. Prior to the Duke West Union project, I worked on the Hunt Library at North Carolina State University and Penn Pavilion at Duke.

CT: What attracted you to wanting to work on the project? 

WS: I am very involved at my alma mater, serving on the board of directors for the Duke Alumni Association and as part of the engineering alumni council. The project was more than about just expanding capacity; the dining program encourages students, faculty, and alumni to share meals with one another to foster a greater sense of community that will benefit students on campus and beyond.  It’s also the most ambitious renovation project the university has taken on to date.

CT: As a Duke alumnus, how did you feel about working on such an iconic building, especially one that would emerge from its renovation so fundamentally changed?

WS: It’s really been an exciting honor. From day one it was evident that the entire team – the staff and administration at Duke, the design team and our Skanska team – was so passionate about what the West Union renovation could mean for the Duke community.  It was a long road bringing the project to fruition, filled with challenges to deliver an architecturally and technically complex building on a demanding schedule. With everything now open, it is rewarding to see the West Union full of life and excitement, building community as it was imagined.

I think the team was successful in preserving key elements of the original West Union – the Great Hall and Cambridge Inn with their amazing wood clad truss ceilings and historic windows – while blending in new modern spaces. Bringing the new and old together is really a central theme in the renovation but it was also quite challenging.

I think the Devil’s Krafthouse is also a great new space. The team’s ideas to use the original Duke Stone exterior walls as an interior finish is unique. The addition of the relics from the demolition process is also a great way to celebrate West Union’s past in a modern, new space.

Plus, the fact that it is located in the same part of the building as the old “Hideaway” student bar seems fitting – I can remember enjoying “E-Kegs” (engineering socials) in what is now the outdoor pub terrace and Crown Commons. It is great to see that space reinvented and to have had a hand in making that transformation.

The Duke West Union (Before and after)

The Duke West Union (before and after)

CT: What were some of the challenges you faced on the project? 

WS: The restoration work itself was very complex. During the demolition phase, the team had to carefully extract the core out of the existing building while leaving the perimeter “horseshoe” intact. We had to cut in more than 50 openings, many of them eight feet wide and more than 20 feet tall, through the 18-inch thick, original load bearing walls which separated the perimeter legacy spaces from the new core area. We had to lower the basement in the “core” area by six to eight feet to accommodate modern air handlers, which required significant rock removal as well as soil nailing of the existing footings on the portion of the remaining building.

We also took painstaking steps to restore key elements of the structure’s façade, including  the “Duke Stone” walls; the more than 300 original windows; the hand-chipped and painted clay roof tiles; and the wood cladding on the steel roof trusses in the Great Hall and Cambridge Inn legacy spaces.

Of course, all of this work took place in the heart of the West Campus, in the shadow of Duke Chapel. We minimized our impact by limiting deliveries to a small service road, coordinating work around the academic calendar, adding sound protection to the windows on adjacent dorms and using sound deadening blankets. We also worked to ensure pedestrian safety by stationing permanent traffic guards and installing signage outside the site that was regularly updated as construction progressed.

CT: What has been the reaction to the new dining hall? 

WS: It’s been very positive and I’m very proud of it. I think the new West Union honors Duke’s history by blending the grand Gothic look with a contemporary design that matches the innovative space. This is a world-class building that continues Duke’s legacy of leadership, innovation, and inspiration.

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Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Getting Lean

One of the ways we can bring increased value to our clients and customers is through the implementation of Lean methodologies on our projects, which focuses on eliminating waste in our processes and enhancing collaboration among team members. The implementation of Lean methodologies in the construction industry is growing in popularity and use – and Skanska is leading the charge.

Lean methodologies can be used throughout a project’s lifetime, from the earliest design phases through to occupancy, managing the process with minimum cost and maximum value.

“We use Lean methodologies to identify and respond to our customer concerns and goals,” says Carmen Jordan, Lean Management Director for Skanska USA Building’s Seattle office and vice-chair of the National Lean Committee. “We focus on the end goal and how we can work together as a team to get there in the most efficient way possible, thereby spending less time on processes and procedures.”

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The Lean Construction Institute Congress attracted hundreds who work with Lean techniques every day.

At the recently held Lean Construction Institute Congress, an annual gathering of thought leaders, consultants, academics, CM firms, subcontractors, design firms and clients from around the world, participants shared best practices in the spirit of industry-wide collaboration and continuous improvement.

As a gold sponsor of the event, Skanska had the opportunity to present Skanska’s Lean journey: how Skanska built on the grassroots efforts of several of its offices to deliver value to customers by utilizing Lean practices to, today, having a national lean strategy that is core to Skanska’s business. Michael Zeppieri, Skanska Director of VDC Services and vice-chair of the National Lean Committee, and Rebecca Jablonowski explained how, ultimately, Skanska will encourage creative, collaborative thinking among all employees and promote a continuous effort to eliminate waste throughout our operations.

“What was most insightful was hearing how firms are striking the balance of elevating best practices developed through grassroots efforts at local offices, like our Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPIW) developed in Seattle, and introducing them in a way such that other offices are receptive to them, particularly offices experiencing Lean for the first time,” said Zeppieri. “There was a definite focus on the cultural aspect of Lean transformation and it was encouraging to see that – relative to our competition – Skanska is right where it needs to be.”

What does the future of Lean hold for Skanska?

“The Executive Leadership Team has chartered formation of a national Lean Committee within Skanska to help spread the Lean culture, including a rollout of Basic Lean Training and a platform for sharing best practices,” says Jordan. “Once people experience the powerful effects of implementing Lean methodologies, the more they get excited and want to use it. We’ve seen a very positive response.”

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Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Ensuring Your In-Season Stadium Renovation is No Sweat

With the fall collegiate sports season in full swing, stadiums across the country are packed with fans – students, parents, and alumni – cheering for a home team win.

With so much on the line – from pride in alma mater to TV contracts and alumni donations – making sure nothing upends that mix is critical. In that context, upgrading stadiums to better serve fans and players can often take a back seat to the season game schedule. But sometimes, it’s the best option, and for a number of reasons.

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The right design can make the decision to build during the season an easy one. Such was the case for our renovation and expansion of Commonwealth Stadium at the University of Kentucky. The design included a new ring of concession stands, public restrooms and other stadium operations outside the existing ring at the lower and upper concourse. This allowed for construction to occur outside the stadium before and during the season.

Technology helped immensely, with 2-D and 3-D surveys – including 3-D laser scanning – which identified obstructions that could have conflicted with the proposed design.  And while most active construction did not occur on game days, communication about what to expect when coming to the game was critical. Our project team participated in every game day logistics planning meeting to make sure the stadium operations staff understood areas under construction and our staff helped support the event by providing necessary temporary facilities.

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Skanska has developed its Project Corners app for which tracks construction progress and notifies users, preparing them for a day in the vicinity of our projects.

During our first year on the project, we had seven home football games amidst the construction to plan around. One of the most important priorities was to get the TV broadcast compound completed in time for the first season so the SEC Network could utilize the new power and distribution system.

Also critical was prioritizing all premium seating and corresponding amenities. The proposed design of the stadium renovation involved an overall reduction of the stadium seating capacity, moving the student section and many long time season ticket holders. We also demolished the center sections of the stadium lower bowl in order to construct outdoor patio decks over premium club spaces below, re-configured the floor slabs in the old press box, and built new structured decks for the loge seating area.

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We created the Coaches Club, Loft Club and Loge Lounge, each of which leveraged sight lines (or lack thereof) with food and beverage and seating options to create a unique fan experience. Rising above the seating bowl are the upper two stories of the new suite/press tower, which includes the Founders Suite on the 50-yard line, UK athletic director suite and visiting team athletic director suite, with outdoor terraces at each end of this level serving as additional hospitality areas. The second level includes all press and broadcast functions, additional suites and home and visitor coaches’ booths. Capping off the suite/press tower are two camera platforms located on the roof.

In addition to the premium amenities, UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart wanted the player game day experience to be top notch. The east end zone seating was dismantled and rebuilt so a new game day locker room could be built at the field level. The space is supported by coaches’ lockers, training room, equipment room, and media interview room. Above the locker room is the recruiting lounge where, on every game day, future Wildcat Football Players are hosted to banquet-style dining, video walls of highlight reel action of UK greats and access to an in-stadium terrace located next to the marching band and above the student seating section over the home team tunnel to the field.

Doing in-season stadium renovations means balancing sports with construction progress. However, by taking the necessary planning and safety precautions, both in advance and during the game, the project can stay on track and loyal fans can still enjoy cheering their teams on to victory.

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Larry Casey

Larry Casey

Larry Casey is a Senior Vice President in charge of the Centers of Excellence, Sales and Marketing, National Account Management and Large Pursuit support for Skanska USA Building.

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Diversity & Inclusion Doesn’t Quit on Friday

We’ve spent this week examining how diversity & inclusion at Skanska USA makes us a stronger company by tapping into the experiences, knowledge base and perspectives of our co-workers and business partners across the country. As part of our activities, we challenged all of our employees to think about what facet of D&I personally connects with them to “Find Your Why.

As part of the many exercises designed to broaden our appreciation of that diversity, we’ve take the time to recognize that differences of perspective; how an open, inclusive culture exists leads to better outcomes for our customers. Fresh perspectives energize our workplace and help us live out one of our core values to “Be Better – Together.”

But diversity & inclusion isn’t just an annual event at Skanska – and we have groups that focus on ways to make Skanska a more inclusive company throughout the year, including the Skanska Women’s Network (SWN).

Since 2013, SWN has provided a framework for continuous professional learning and mentoring, helping attract, recruit, develop and retain female employees, by endorsing solutions that support women’s contributions at all levels of the organization.

SWN has established seven local chapters around the country, with the New England and Southwest chapters launching this month, and has had more than 1,000 participants at their events to promote mentoring and information-sharing that leverages the vast reservoir of experience at Skanska.

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“The Skanska Women’s Network and Diversity & Inclusion go hand in hand,” says Mendy Mazzo, Vice President of Business Development and a member of the Skanska Women’s Network National Steering Committee. “For four years, we’ve sought to celebrate gender, ethnic and thought diversity so we can leverage differing viewpoints into a collective strength.”

Mazzo points to a growing number of women in leadership positions at Skanska. “We’re seeing a change in the demographics of the boardroom and selection committees – and so having teams that mirror our communities is incredibly important to how we function.”

“Being an Executive sponsor for the SWN is important to me personally and vital for our business,” said Paul Hewins, COO for Skanska USA Building.  “Helping Skanska reflect and understand our clients and communities, supporting our female colleagues and also helping men realize our potential is all critical. The SWN creates opportunities for us, opening connections with client groups and communities that don’t otherwise exist. The SWN has been extremely successful, grown rapidly and done so many great things. Dynamic teams comprised of talented women and men are essential for Skanska’s future. As father of daughter about to enter college and a husband of a successful business entrepreneur, it’s very personal for me.”

That, perhaps, has been the greatest takeaway from the week – that diversity & inclusion is personal and unique for every individual. This week has been a great reminder to think inclusively in our daily routines and connect with “your why.” You can revisit some of the events from our local offices around the country on our twitter feed. We’re looking forward to keeping the spirit of the week alive all year round.

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Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion

As we continue to celebrate and explore Diversity & Inclusion at Skanska this week, we are taking the time to note the difference between “checking the box” on our efforts and engaging in substantive and lasting practices that enhance our business and the value we bring to our customers.

In our increasingly expanding world, diversity and inclusion is a measure of success for us and our customers.  To truly be diverse and inclusive, we must reflect our customers and the communities in which we work.

Research shows us that inclusive workplaces often result in higher collaboration and increased safety.  We’ve seen this positive effect on our communities and industry by providing training and mentorship opportunities to small and M/WBE firms which gives us a greater pool of talent to work with on our projects and allows us to keep more jobs local.

We also believe diversity & inclusion can be the driving force behind innovations that are already fundamentally changing our business:

In our aspirations to be the nation’s construction and developer partner of choice, we seek to connect with the communities in which we work. Skanska strives to not only deliver world class projects but also provide opportunities for people to grow and thrive through these opportunities. Across the country, we have developed programs that are making a positive impact in communities across the U.S., including the BOOST Program and Construction Management Building Blocks, which seeks to help subcontractors develop their businesses to eventually become our trusted partners in some of our most exciting projects, and Community Advisory Teams, which work to connect communities with job opportunities in historically under-utilized neighborhoods.

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Our most recent class of Building Blocks Program Graduates photographed in Cincinatti, OH on Tuesday night.

At Skanska, we strive to attract a diverse group of individuals to foster innovation, promote a positive and productive workplace and, as a result, outperform for our customers. As our industry continues to evolve and customers seek cost and schedule certainty, we can meet those needs by increasing collaboration between designers and subcontractors at the beginning of the project and creating a truly inclusive environment, delivering greater value to our clients.

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Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Diversity Comes in Many Forms

Today marks the start of Skanska USA’s annual “Diversity & Inclusion Week” (Oct 17-21) when we celebrate the valuable differences and perspectives of our employees that makes us a stronger company. As part of the week, we also take time to recognize our business partners that help us be a part of creating stronger communities in the areas of the country where we work.

This year’s D&I Week theme is “Find Your Why,” which focuses on exploring different ways that we can make our workplaces and communities more inclusive.

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We have exceptional coworkers and business partners from all walks of life, backgrounds and experiences. When we have a diversity of perspectives, that’s when our creativity and ingenuity really get going and we’re able to offer our customers the best solutions.

Whether we’re working to acknowledge our own personal biases or mentoring the next generation of leaders, Skanska believes it is important for each of us to recognize how Diversity & Inclusion both inside and outside the workplace makes us stronger.

“We all have personal biases and they can be difficult to see past – if we see them at all,” says Mel Jones, national Director of Diversity & Inclusion. “Focusing on this issue helps us learn how to leverage our diversity to make smart decisions that can enhance and grow our company, including from a business perspective.”

As part of this week, Skanska will also launch the Community Giveback Challenge around the country. In local markets where we operate, our teams will be organizing service projects (like the ones pictured here), food and clothing drives and more to strengthen our communities.

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Follow us on facebook, twitter and Instagram for more on our Diversity & Inclusion Week activities.

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Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Safety for All Seasons

This time of year, the changing of the seasons in many parts of our country puts Mother Nature at center stage, with leaves turning from crisp greens to golden yellows, oranges and reds.

Soon, many of us will be raking those leaves after they fall from the trees and doing other fall yard work associated with getting ready for the onset of winter.

Strenuous outdoor work also means the potential for injury, including to the back, shoulders and wrists when twisting, bending, lifting, and reaching.  Improper use of lawn tools can sometimes make things worse.

Simple precautions – like stretching, and wearing gloves and safety glasses – are important parts of our backyard routine. Paying attention to the job at hand and eliminating distractions – especially around saws, mowers and hedge trimmers – can further reduce or eliminate injuries and possibly a trip to the doctor.  It’s important we all practice good safety habits at home no matter what the season calls for.

Skanska ID site visit to SKW at Sparrows Point, MD

Safety on our job sites is no different. In the final months of 2016, we’re working to reduce distractions and promote neat and tidy project sites in order to prevent injuries to our employees and our subcontractors.

On job sites, we see distractions in many forms, including: 

• Inattentive equipment or vehicle operators are responsible for a high percentage of incidents where a piece of machinery hits or runs into something;

• Messy site conditions and poor housekeeping contribute to slips, trips, and falls, which comprise a significant number of injuries;

• Preoccupied workers suffer from lacerations and abrasions at an alarming rate as a result of being distracted on the job.

Fall is a wonderful time of year to enjoy with family and friends. Simple precautions when doing outdoor work can help make sure we get to join in the fun.

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Paul Haining

Paul Haining

Chief environment, health and safety officer

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