The Role of Preconstruction in Building Diverse and Inclusive Job Sites


Truebeck’s preconstruction services can help assist with building a diverse workforce on the jobsite. Truebeck achieved over 45 percent participation from diverse trade partners and vendors on The Annex, a 17,500sf affordable housing development that will service the needs of families in the Portland community.

How Preconstruction Brings Diversity to a Jobsite

When the Truebeck team began work on The Annex, the intended goal for the project was to bring on as many Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Businesses (MWESB) as possible. But the goal was also to find the best value. This meant the Truebeck team needed to weigh multiple factors when procuring trade partners for the project. Cost, availability, and an MWESB status needed to be holistically considered.

“Traditionally affordable housing is built with state funds, and as a part of state funds there is a requirement for MWESB participation and that is roughly 30 percent,” shared Betsy Bice, Director of Preconstruction. “But this is a privately funded project, and Catholic Charities wanted to see what they could accomplish without being bound by state compliance.”

Trade Partner Outreach

When it comes to selecting trade partners, it’s vital to know the market and build relationships. Before Truebeck’s preconstruction team ever began work on The Annex, there was a concerted effort to connect with MWESB partners. Truebeck strategically partnered with the Oregon chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC). Members of NAMC-Oregon are individuals, partnerships, or corporations certified as minority-owned (MBE) or minority-owned disadvantaged (DBE) business enterprises involved in the business of construction contracting and subcontracting.

By connecting with these organizations, Truebeck’s team was able to find MWESB partners that could bring value to The Annex. This prior groundwork accomplished by the preconstruction team paved the way for having a diverse workforce on the project.

Trade Partner Procurement

One of the critical functions of preconstruction is to procure the right trade partners. During this process, the preconstruction team will leverage a dashboard of thousands of prequalified subcontractors, then in a curated approach select those that bring the right skills, value, and inclusion the client desires.

In the case of MWESB participation, the goal is to make the project as attractive as possible. This incentivizes responses and a desire to join. To help make the project attractive, Truebeck’s preconstruction efforts were spent addressing concerns such as scheduling and proper bidding practices. From personal conversations over the phone to in-person events, the Truebeck team was able to form a list of MWESB trade partners and help them submit completed bids to make them competitive with other firms.

Trade Partner Tracking

While a focus on diversity was a part of the project goals, another was also to find the best value possible. This is where tracking key data plays a critical role in selecting the right trade partners.

Truebeck’s preconstruction team has an internal dashboard that details critical information about local trade partners. This includes their workforce availability, cost history, safety records, and more. With this information at the fingertips of our preconstruction team, Truebeck could identify which trade partners are best suited for the job and will deliver the best quality possible.

This internal resource not only helped the Truebeck team procure MWESB partners, but it also helped find the ones that would deliver the best value.

Diversity at Truebeck

While the preconstruction team is responsible for supplier diversity, the Truebeck team itself reflects the diversity goals of the project. Truebeck’s project team brought diversity to The Annex jobsite with women and minority leadership and team members.

Truebeck aspires to create a workplace that looks like the diverse communities around us, and where we see and appreciate a variety of experiences, identities, and backgrounds. Truebeck’s core value “Business and life are all about people” captures our fundamental belief and guiding principle that people are at the center of our company and world.

Partnering with a MWESB was only the start. Truebeck’s team represented diversity in thought, experience and people.

The Results for The Annex

The result on The Annex was an over 45 percent participation rate from MWESB trade partners. This exceeded the state and industry standards by a substantial margin. While the diversity goals were also achieved, the project itself is being built with a high-level of quality and within budget.

Truebeck’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Truebeck recognizes the importance of diverse suppliers and small businesses, and our role in creating equitable opportunities. By providing opportunities, we are contributing to the growth of our industry and our communities.

Betsy Bice is Portland’s Director of Preconstruction and she shared why a focus on working with MWESB trade partners is important to the Truebeck team.

“Being a woman in the industry is why I’m motivated to try and help other women and minority owned business,” she said. “I think it’s part of our duty to help them grow and expand. Portland is a community focused city, and we need to be a good community partner. Engaging with new trade partners is a way we can achieve that.”

Truebeck’s mission identifies a core principle – “pioneer ideas that improve industry practices and elevate standards.” This reflects the foundational purpose of our business, to create a positive impact on society.

Partner With Us

If diversity on the job site is an essential goal on a project, Truebeck’s team has the resources and capacity to ensure that it’s met. Contact our team to learn more about our preconstruction services and how they can specifically aid with your project’s diversity plans.

Truebeck is always looking to build connections with more partners. If you’re in the trades, reach out to us so we can begin the process of prequalification.

Similar Posts