Inside the Industry: Turner Construction School for Construction Management
September 27, 2012Ruby Jones began her career at Turner Construction for 14 years ago at the CenturyLink Stadium project in Seattle. Ruby developed and managed a comprehensive outreach program to the minority business community that resulted in utilizing 115 MWDBE subcontractors on that project alone. Ruby developed initiatives on the CenturyLink Field project that have been standardized on all subsequent Turner projects.
“What I’ve found over the years is that most small business owners, know the field side,” she says. “It’s the business side that they lack and it’s very competitive out there.” Jones says she has a personal mission to help remove barriers to minority employment in the construction trades; in this she is inspired by memories of her great uncle,– a general contractor in 1960s Waco, Texas – experience social inequities in the construction industry because he was an African-American.
Jones’ vision for local subcontractors is that “second tier” companies will be able to move up to the “first tier.” In other words, she wants to help provide small contractors with the tools to negotiate and contract directly with companies like Turner.
Turner has a national goal of subcontracting 20 percent of all subcontracted work to minority and women owned businesses. When negotiating contracts, Jones says her company is looking for performance, above all else.
“We’re looking for capacity and whether they’ve done this type of project before,” she said.
“We need to reflect the community where these projects are built – our clients believe it, we believe it, and to me, it’s a no-brainer.”