February 2, 2021

Spring Co-ops Highlight Drive to Improve Diversity

Miller-Valentine Construction is committed to building a diverse workforce from the ground up. That’s why we’re proud to announce that three of our four spring co-ops are women.

Our co-op program provides students with practical, hands-on experience across a range of perspectives in the construction industry. During a four-month period, the co-ops rotate through four phases:

  1. Students start out in the field working alongside superintendents.
  2. Next, students work in the office as assistant project managers.
  3. After that, students work with the preconstruction team and learn how to cost, bid, and plan projects.
  4. Finally, students choose an area of focus to concentrate on.

In each rotation, students work with Miller-Valentine professionals and mentors on real projects.

“Our primary goal is to give students a feel for the different types of career paths that are available to them,” said Senior Corporate Recruiter Josh Welsh. “There are high-profile roles, like superintendent and project manager. But career paths run the gamut from human resources and accounting to safety and estimating.”

The combination of field and office assignments also provides a broader view of what it takes to complete a project from start to finish. This well-rounded understanding of workflow will help students become stronger collaborators and problem solvers no matter which direction their paths take them.

Providing More Opportunities for Young Women
Our spring cohort is encouraging because it suggests that more young women may see their future in construction. At Miller-Valentine, our chief executive officer is a woman, and we have several female vice presidents. But there is more work to be done.

Despite the need for talent and the tremendous opportunities for growth, few women pursue a career in this industry. According to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), women in construction numbered just 1.5 percent of the entire U.S. workforce in 2018.

Miller-Valentine values diversity for numerous reasons.

“We believe that diversity leads to better outcomes for our customers and our teams,” CEO Elizabeth Mangan said. “Solutions that are borne out of the diversity of thought and experience are by definition better solutions, enhancing the experience of both our Associates and our customers.”

This spring’s co-ops were chosen based solely on credentials. However, the Miller-Valentine team is proud to take part in moving the industry forward. Many co-ops become Miller-Valentine Associates after graduation. This cohort could one day soon join our team.

“Right now, only a very small percent of people in the construction industry are women,” noted Josh. “This is a big opportunity for us to start shaping that future while giving amazing individuals a chance to learn and launch their career.”

Miller-Valentine is always recruiting for co-ops. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can be part of a spring, summer, or fall co-op, contact Josh Welsh at 513.774.8400


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