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Don’t just hope for diversity – build it

(March 8, 2018–TOWSON, Md.)—The world has always been diverse. Still, making industries more diverse must be a deliberate endeavor.

Companies all over Maryland have set goals to be as inclusive and diverse as possible. Research and anecdotal evidence all points to the great benefits diversity and inclusion provide in professional and community life.

For Whiting-Turner, diversity outreach is part of a 90-year mission of maintaining a dedication to moral principles and providing a challenging secure and safe environment for professional growth.

“We value diversity in our workforce and in the relationships we build with others, like the businesses we do business with,” said Whiting-Turner President Tim Regan.

The construction company headquartered in Towson has 32 offices nationwide, and hires hundreds of new engineers each year—always with diversity in mind.

“We go to 100 different schools, coast-to-coast, and that includes historically black colleges and universities,” Regan said. “We try to get pipelines going. We’re working hard at that.”

It’s a pipeline that’s important to build. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide, 89 percent of construction industry employees are white, and 91 percent are male. The Regional Economic Studies Institute in 2016 predicted average annual growth of more than 1,200 construction laborer jobs in Maryland alone per year between 2017 and 2019. In fact, in that 2016 calculation, construction labor was the biggest growth industry on the chart. First-line supervisors in construction trades and extraction workers was third, with 835 more jobs per year projected in the state.

With that kind of growth rate, there’s a great deal of potential for development. Whiting-Turner encourages that from the point of hire through trade fairs, workshops and other sessions.

“We try to develop career people,” Regan said. “We encourage people to think long-term. We want them here 20, 25, 30 years from now.”

After 90 years in business, Whiting-Turner doesn’t just plan to be around for decades to come; it wants its employees to be around, too.

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by Christine Collins

Christine M. Collins joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as its senior director of strategic communication in November 2016. She brought with her several years of experience managing communications, messaging and marketing at Towson University. She also led newscast teams as a producer in three top-25 media markets, including Baltimore and Washington, DC.

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