National – The Associated General Contractors of America and Procore Technologies, Inc., a provider of construction management software, are launching a new scholarship program to assist African American and disadvantaged minority students who are studying construction fields at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. The new scholarship is being made possible thanks to a $250,000 challenge gift from Procore that the association will now fundraise to meet and exceed.
“We don’t want to price future leaders out of their opportunity to shape the construction industry,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “These new scholarships will put a new and more diverse generation of students on track to become tomorrow’s construction leaders and innovators.”
Sandherr noted that the new HBCU scholarship program is part of the association’s broader efforts to make the construction industry more diverse and inclusive. The association also operates a nationwide recruiting campaign called “Construction is Essential” to attract more diverse workers. Its Culture of Care program helps firms create more welcoming and inclusive workplaces. And its Business Case for a Diverse Industry helps construction leaders see how more diverse firms are innovative, profitable, and safe.
The HBCU scholarship program will be administered by the AGC Education and Research Foundation, which awards a host of construction scholarships, funds research into key construction topics and supports faculty externships at commercial construction firms. The foundation is launching an industry-wide fundraising campaign to meet, and hopefully exceed, the initial $250,000 challenge gift from Procore.
“We are asking members to invest not only in these students, but also the future of our industry,” said Darrel Gibson, the executive director of the AGC Education and Research Foundation. “Supporting these scholarships is the best way to create a new, more diverse, generation of industry leaders.”
The challenge gift from Procore is part of the Carpinteria, California-based technology firm’s commitment to connecting construction and technology to the tools, resources, and community needed to build a more inclusive and diverse future. Procore is supporting the industry through partnerships with minority contractors associations to provide technical and educational resources to members, and employees through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that foster a culture of belonging.
Procore and AGC announced the new scholarship program during the association’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida.
“The ultimate outcome of these scholarships is to increase the representation of African Americans in the construction industry, where the numbers have remained too small for too long,” said Pat Wadors, Procore chief talent officer. “This scholarship program is an extension of our investment in diversity and inclusion and workforce development, two of the industry’s most pressing needs.”