McCarthy Building Companies Senior Vice President of Operations Nate Kowallis describes how diversity and inclusion are key to the future of the construction industry.
How does McCarthy Building Companies help other businesses become more effective?
As the Dallas Region grows and the construction industry continues to experience a steady stream of new construction starts, we’ve found that investing in the growth of minority- and women-owned businesses is key to the long-term success of our business and industry. Based on our experience, diversity of thought and background drives better outcomes: both on the projects on which we work, and the businesses with which we collaborate. We have several ways we support the growth of our small-, minority-, and women-owned businesses. We added a director of community outreach and inclusion to our team. McCarthy maintains strong relationships with the diverse contractor community and supporting advocacy organizations, with the notion that the resources across our industry should naturally reflect the communities they serve. Further, we are launching the McCarthy Partner Development Program, which kicked off January 2020. This nine-month program is an interactive series designed to optimize the core business skills of program participants. Courses will be taught by industry experts and focus on growing technical capacity and building relationships. We look forward to seeing these businesses grow year over year along with Dallas.
What differentiates your company from others in your industry?
The construction industry continues to battle a skilled labor shortage that has the potential to impact project deadlines and increase costs. This shortage is critical in the Dallas-Fort Worth market as the economy is still vibrant, and construction shows little signs of slowing down anytime soon. To mitigate this, McCarthy has developed a robust training program for our own craft labor, to help ensure we have the skilled workers to complete projects without slowdowns. We have also opened our industry-leading benefits program to our craft workforce, allowing them access to retirement options and medical benefits. Education and outreach are the keys to growing our workforce, as many people don’t realize what a rewarding and successful career they could have in construction. We are also focusing on the generation entering the workforce through early recruitment and working to destigmatize the construction industry for both females and males. We are deliberate in our efforts to attract diverse talent. We aren’t just focused solely attracting talent, but also retaining top employees. Through initiatives such as McCarthy Partnership for Women, Diversity & Inclusion training, and others, we are dedicated to making our partners feel valued, understood, and included.
What do you enjoy most about doing business in the Dallas Region?
We love the diversity that Dallas businesses bring. Those varying perspectives elevate Dallas as a global leader, and affect how we do business. At McCarthy, we look to our differences to bring a richness of perspective. When a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds, and opinions interconnect, a broad spectrum of ideas and solutions emerge. This openness pushes each of us to think differently on behalf of our clients, industry partners, and one another.
Why did you decide to become a DRC member?
We are community builders at our core. By joining the Dallas Regional Chamber, we are working with other like-minded individuals and companies to not only build up the Dallas community, but to also support businesses growing alongside ours.
How has your business changed in the past five years?
Over the past five years, we have grown exponentially and continue to expand our services to better serve those we work alongside. Our number of craft labor employees has more than doubled. We are leading the industry in recruiting, hiring, and retaining females, and we have seen major transitions in our leadership. On Jan. 1, Ray Sedey, who was most recently Southern Region President based in Dallas, assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer. In turn, Joe Jouvenal was promoted from Senior Vice President of the Dallas Office, to the Southern Region President.
Additional changes we’ve seen are the advancements in technology. Using tools such as virtual reality and drones, we have seen clients become integrated at every level of construction. For instance, doctors and nurses can virtually walk through health care facilities to ensure their instruments are in the optimum location before a shovel ever hits the ground. Our collaborative and inclusive approach is part of our commitment to make the journey from project start through project completion an exceptional experience.