CAGC Podcasts

CAGC Buildercast Podcast ImageCarolinas AGC is proud to offer its members the Carolinas AGC Buildercast Podcast, a free member benefit. Carolinas AGC will bring members leading industry experts to present on important topics in today’s construction industry landscape. Whether you are at your desk or in the car, Buildercast is a convenient way to stay up to date on the latest trends and information going on in our industry.


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Podcast Archive

Current Podcast Series: Diversity and Inclusion


Sponsored by:
Merit EHS

 

Produced: July 20, 2020
Guest Speaker:
Brynn Huneke, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Member Engagement at AGC of America
BuilderCast Series Host:
Betsy Bailey, Director of Government Relations, NC
BuilderCast Co-Host and Producer:
Sharon Walters, Director of Digital Operations

How does someone from a town of 750 people in Minnesota end up working on a Diversity & Inclusion Initiative in Washington DC for a National Construction Trade Association? 

Brynn Huneke moved to DC to pursue a career in politics and began working at AGC in the Government Affairs department. Then, she had an experience on the Metro. Listen to her story, and hear an honest reflection on how she started to question her own biases, educate herself, and then choose a career path to do something about it. 

As Brynn was getting certified in the field of Diversity & Inclusion Management, AGC of America was developing it’s Diversity & Inclusion program and she was a perfect fit for the role. That was 4 years ago and this past March, AGC of America launched it’s Culture of CARE campaign. This initiative began at the chapter level with AGC of Washington. AGC of America was already doing some work on Diversity & Inclusion and teamed up with the Washington State Chapter to create a national campaign. The Culture of CARE campaign asks construction companies to take a pledge to build diverse and inclusive workplaces. Making our workplaces more welcoming and inclusive is good business ethics, good for sustainability and profitability, but additionally attracts talent when workforce shortages demand we bring new individuals into our industry.   

Working through these topics and efforts can be difficult and quite different for companies depending on size and resources available. Brynn notes that AGC of America knows this campaign cannot be stagnant and continues to add tools and training to the Culture of CARE website as an ongoing effort.

“We felt like Culture of CARE had a really unique position to be able to talk about that mental and emotional well-being that comes with caring, truly caring about your employees in the middle of a pandemic and how you support them as individuals whose lives have been up-ended.” 
 --Brynn Huneke on how Culture of CARE can help support individuals and companies dealing with new realities.

 

Produced: July 13, 2020
Guest Speaker:
Edison Cassels, President & CEO, Edison Foard and Incoming Chair of the City Business Inclusion Advisory Committee (CBIAC)
BuilderCast Series Host:
Betsy Bailey, Director of Government Relations, NC
BuilderCast Co-Host and Producer:
Sharon Walters, Director of Digital Operations

“These are truly unprecedented times… My approach is always just to address something head on. There’s very few conversations I am not willing to have very directly and openly. It’s important that we truly be considerate and consider how co-workers, associates, trade partners, our families are all digesting what’s happening in our world. It’s an uncertain and changing place which can be a little scary, but can also be good.”
Edison Cassels

In this week’s Buildercast, Betsy talks with Edison about communicating to create a more inclusive team environment and how he uncovered blind spots that may not otherwise have been discovered without the need for changes created by COVID-19. New communication strategies that involve all employees at every level have created a feeling of a level playing field, consistency and transparency. Edison is also spending more time really thinking about who is receiving the message and then how best to communicate it.

As a passionate advocate and leader in the community and incoming chair of the City Business Inclusion Advisory Committee, Edison is aware of the impact of COVID-19 on our Minority Businesses. Business have reported struggling during this crisis due to a slow-down of work, lack of financial support and access to assistance. He discusses possible avenues of support during crisis such as short term loans, financial support and access, government entities, private businesses and organizations could act as advocates with the process of getting through crisis. Additionally, continuing education is critical and could be funded by public-private partnerships.

And finally, Edison brings such honesty and thoughtfulness to the conversation about diversity and inclusion as a strategic cornerstone of their business. They are working very hard on this goal and strongly believe that leaders of organizations must set the tone through words and actions and really believe in the mission and beneficial outcomes. As the CEO of Edison Foard, he shares how he has promoted these efforts within his company and how we might all affect real change through our own commitments to these efforts of succeeding together.

Produced: July 6, 2020
Guest Speaker:
Patrice Gilmore, National Supplier Diversity Lead for DPR Construction and President of United Minority Contractors of North Carolina
BuilderCast Series Host:
Betsy Bailey, Director of Government Relations, NC
BuilderCast Co-Host and Producer:
Sharon Walters, Director of Digital Operations

Betsy talks to Patrice about her early fascination with all things "building" as a young girl, her parents confusion (and some concern) with her interest in this field, and discovering the Construction Management education path while attending North Carolina A & T University. 

Patrice discusses what connections and relationships can do to grow and strengthen minority-owned businesses. She talks about the importance of establishing those relationships now to prepare businesses to respond to crisis like COVID-19 in the future. 

Finally, we asked her advice on what our organizations can do to be a positive influence on diversity and inclusion in the industry. She discusses the opportunities for our organizations and member companies to work together in mentoring relationships- strengthening their firms, as well as the industry. 

Patrice on "the why" to implement diversity and inclusion in your firm - "Do it because you really want to do it for the right reasons, that you want to make investments in people, and help them be better and do better. That's a good reason why."  

 

 

Produced: June 21, 2020
Guest Speaker:
Johnny Ortiz, Regional Vendor Diversity Manager, Skanska USA
BuilderCast Series Host:
Betsy Bailey, Director of Government Relations, NC
BuilderCast Co-Host and Producer:
Sharon Walters, Director of Digital Operations

Johnny's path to construction included early hands-on experience in the industry, and parents that encouraged education as well as construction as a career. Their advice to him was that a being skilled in a trade provides security, a sense of honor and also great earning potential. After struggling as a young man, Johnny pursued and graduated with his GED, went to trade school and earned HVAC-R certification. He then gained more experience working with a small family-owned business and was a part of the firm for 10 years. Working with that family and their firm influenced Johnny and is something that informs and drives him while he works on behalf of small, women & minority firms working on Skanska projects.

In this podcast, we dive into the challenges faced by our Hispanic workforce and staying safe and healthy during COVID-19. With the pandemic disproportionately affecting this community, how can companies create a space that is inclusive and free from fear so that we can better listen, AND get safety messages out more effectively? Additionally, How can we partner with community groups where trust is already established to help protect these communities?

Finally, we discuss the work that is ongoing to create a more diverse and sustainable industry. Programs to get the message about construction careers to our youth are more important now than ever and we must continue working and find new ways to get to parents and teachers to promoting construction the way that Johnny's parents did for him.

 



Produced: June 16, 2020
Guest Speaker:
Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, GC, CM, CQM-C, MAHRD, is the President/CEO of LLE Construction Group, LLC.
BuilderCast Series Host:
Betsy Bailey, Director of Government Relations, NC
BuilderCast Co-Host and Producer:
Sharon Walters, Director of Digital Operations

Inspired by our Member Talk panelists from June 5th, we asked each individual to join us separately to continue this important conversation around how we can work to ensure inclusive workplaces and improve communications and safety strategies- especially during COVID-19.

Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, President/CEO of LLE Construction Group opened the series with a fantastic interview - and what a pleasure to speak with her again to get more insight from someone that pushed herself to pursue this career and gives back regularly to our industry.

Listen now to hear Lasenta talk more about what diversity and inclusion really means, how to reach out to disproportionately affected minority communities to better communicate safety messages, and how she is mentoring the new generation of women to pursue careers in construction.

Past Podcast Series

 



Produced: May 4, 2020
Guest Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Battle-Bryant, Ph.D., SHRM-CP, President and Owner, Battle Plan Consulting, LLC
Interviewed by: Tammy Ford, Director, Carolinas AGC Foundation’s “Build Your Career” workforce development initiative

 



Produced: April 27, 2020

Guest Speaker: Jacob Garmon, Sales Executive for Suppliers and Sponsorships and Chelsea Andujar, Director, Meetings & Events
Interviewed by: Sharon Walters, Director, Digital Strategy & Operations

 

Produced: April 20, 2020
Guest Speaker: Casey Schwager, Region Manager, Sloan Construction Company
Interviewed by: Leslie Clark, Vice President of Operations, SC Government Relations & Divisions, Carolinas AGC


 

Produced: April 13, 2020
Guest Speaker: Sonya Conner, VP, RN, BSN, CPHRM, McGriff Insurance Services
Interviewed by: Bill Stricker, CAGC Diector Utility Division & NCCER Administration


 

Produced: April 6, 2020
Guest Speaker: Charlie Wilson, President & CEO, C.T. Wilson Construction Company, Durham, NC
Interviewed by: Betsy Bailey, CAGC NC Government Relations & Building Division Director


 

Produced: March 30, 2020
Guest Speaker: Dawn Klug, MS/LCMHC/CEAP, Chief Operating Officer/President, Employee Assistance Network , Asheville, NC
Interviewed by: Betsy Bailey, CAGC NC Government Relations & Building Division Director


 

Produced: March 24, 2020
Guest Speaker: Tamera Edwards, VP Human Resources, MB Haynes Corporation & Chair of the CAGC Human Resources Committee
Interviewed by: Betsy Bailey, CAGC NC Government Relations & Building Division Director

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