The Sharing the Joys of Construction Essay Competition was created by EDiS Company in 2021 for Delaware trade and vocational high school students to shine a spotlight on the positive impact diversity has in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry during Black History Month. Students wrote about individuals or companies who have inspired them or have had a positive impact on the built environment. First place junior Nasir Williams, second place freshman India Motley, and third place junior Gabrielle Smith won $750, $500, and $250 respectively. Sussex Technical High School runner up is senior Tyler Keyek, winning $100, and the POLYTECH High School runner up is Sarina Forston, winning $100. Each winner had their owner sponsor teacher who won $100 to use in their classrooms.
Grade: 12 School: Sussex Technical High School
Sponsor Teacher: Dr. Meghan Feliciani
Diverse communities are in dire need of more construction companies to begin working in their communities. Even though most people hear the term “construction” and think that it may cause an inconvenience since they’re usually loud, messy, and often block sidewalks and roadways, there are numerous benefits to having construction companies begin work in your community. Along with a major source of jobs, construction companies often offer more benefits like keeping the local economy afloat and keeping the supply chain level, as well as opening the door to so many future jobs and possibilities.
Diversity means “the state of being diverse; variety” (Oxford Languages, 1857). Diverse communities contain people of different races, genders, religions, and ages, among other features that identify humans. These diverse communities often do not have many job options, meaning families do not have a steady source of income. Construction companies in diverse communities offer many jobs to people just out of school, and even people with experience in the trade industry. Construction includes everything from electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, to carpentry and metalworking. Having these jobs as an option helps keep labor shortages a problem of the past. Construction is also a job that will always need to be around.
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 263,000 construction jobs were open in June 2018, an increase from 202,000 a year ago” (Langer, 2018, p. 1). Construction jobs are open, people just need to begin filling the positions. Most high schools offer a program where straight out of school you can go to work in construction, and most companies will send you to school for construction if you are not already educated in it. Buildings and houses will always need to be built and that is something that will not change. There is job security when working in construction, whereas in most jobs there is no job security. This guarantees a steady source of income for low and middle-class families in these diverse communities mentioned. “Studies have shown that employees in a diverse environment are more engaged and happier than those who are not. This is especially important in the construction field because the work relies heavily on teamwork and good communication” (Langer, 2018, p. 1). Not only does working in the construction industry provide income, but people enjoy doing it. There is nothing worse than having a job you dislike. Having a steady job also prepares people for the future by showing they held a job on their resume.
With construction jobs becoming more available in diverse communities, it sets the members of these communities up for the future, since these jobs will be permanent. As Heraclius said, “change is the only constant in life.” In this instance, the change in new buildings and businesses is being built. New buildings are needing to be built daily. Whether they are government buildings, housing, or even local businesses. Construction offers more jobs by building local businesses or even corporate companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s.
While construction companies are good for a diverse community, a diverse community is also good for construction companies. “Research indicates that companies that prioritize diversity outperform others; they have greater earnings, better governance, greater innovation, and more opportunities” (Dunbar, 2022, p.1). Companies that include diverse employees have been proven to have higher efficiency levels and succeed better at jobs. Diverse work teams also have been proven to have more engaged employees who are happier compared to non-diverse work teams (Langer, 2018, p. 1).
In conclusion, there are so many benefits to having construction companies in diverse communities, that there is no reason that there should not be. Construction companies in diverse communities offer current, and future jobs, continuous development in these communities, and support the members of the communities. So maybe the next time you see a construction company starting new work, instead of thinking “this is going to cause me an inconvenience” try thinking about all the opportunities that construction will bring to current and future residents of the area.