Stories

Be a Pillar: Diverse Businesses Empowered to Be Great

Construction has a tangible connection to society. As builders, designers, engineers and suppliers, we construct schools, offices, hospitals, data centers, research facilities, and more that contribute to the connectedness and advancement of the communities where we live and work. But it’s not just large companies out there doing this work. Small minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses are integral to building great things across every region and market and represent a direct connection to our communities.

DPR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goes beyond employees; it extends to our family of suppliers, trade partners and vendors. At the beginning of this month, DPR employees had the opportunity to hear from some of our certified diverse trade partners and learn about their journeys. Here's what they had to say about working with large contractors, and the impact it has had on their business.


Courtesy of Paul Turang

Bianca Vobecky | Founder, President and CEO, Vobecky Enterprises, Inc.

"Working with larger firms provides consistency and resources to successfully run my business and it taught me how to pay it forward by mentoring other smaller firms."

It means the world to me as a small business to have the support of a larger organization who supports my growth. In the past 16 years I have had some great business mentors and developed lifelong friendships and business partners, which is the basis for future collaboration. It was a great investment for my business and my personal development. I was able to avoid common industry pitfalls, excel over my competition and develop important connections. Working with larger firms provides consistency and resources to successfully run my business and it taught me how to pay it forward by mentoring other smaller firms.


Courtesy of Paul Turang

Gene Hale | Founder and CEO, G&C Equipment

"Working with large prime contractors affords the company the opportunity to economically stimulate the local community by hiring local workers and providing scholarships to students from underserved communities."

Having large prime contractors working with G&C affords the company the opportunity to economically stimulate the local community by hiring local workers and providing scholarships to students from underserved communities. It also provides an opportunity to hire service-disabled veterans and mentoring opportunities for local businesses.


Courtesy of Tina R. Thomas

Junior Burr | President, Canterbury Enterprises

"Through our relationship with an existing client, the knowledge gained and lessons learned will be long lasting, and the internal growth this allowed our team will propel our company forward in all our next ventures."

The partnerships shared with Canterbury throughout our project opportunities has been unparalleled. Our relationship with an existing client has been fostered, the knowledge gained and lessons learned will be long lasting, and the internal growth this allowed our team will propel our company forward in all our next ventures. It has given some of my team members the opportunity to catapult their career forward. These experiences will continue growing Canterbury with great hopes of striving toward being a major competitor in the construction industry.


Through our Partner Pillar, which is part of DPR’s Global Social Responsibility effort, DPR's supplier diversity team works hard to build relationships with certified diverse business partners across the world. DPR spends approximately $2.3 billion working with diverse suppliers, which is about 12% of the company's spending. Check out how your business can get prequalified as a subcontractor with DPR.

Interested in learning more or getting involved with organizations working to certify diverse businesses? Check out these resources:

National Minority Supplier Development Council

National Veteran Owned Business Association

National Veteran Business Development Council

U.S. Small Business Administration

Women’s Enterprise National Council