Building Communities: Achieving Workforce Inclusivity

When the South Avenue Price Rite opened its doors in June 2017, it not only demolished a food desert, but also stood as a project constructed by and for the local community. Syracuse non-profits, businesses and contractors collaborated to recruit a Price Rite construction workforce, or “boots on the ground,” consisting of 29% minorities and residents from local zip codes with high poverty rates.

To achieve workforce inclusivity, VIP took a different approach. The VIP staff and subcontractors were asked to specifically focus on hiring minority workers and those living within certain zip codes. Job fairs were hosted that opened the door to women and minority business owners who hire low-income residents. VIP Structures worked with CenterState CEO, Urban Jobs Tasks Force, Syracuse Housing Authority, and Tradesmen International to ensure diversity and inclusion.

When hiring began, VIP asked their subcontractors to commit to having 25% or greater of their on-site work force reflect the neighborhood in which the store would be built. VIP assisted in coordinating open interviews and connecting contractors with local resources to find qualified, local minority residents.

As ground officially broke on the Price Rite site, subcontractors were asked to start tracking their workers on the job each month, providing a minority workforce report. The data was used to count the number of minority and targeted zip code workers on the job site to ensure the project’s goals were being met to have a Price Rite built by those it will serve. 

When looking to achieve workforce inclusivity, the biggest part of the project will be tracking, evaluating and encouraging subcontractors to engage with the community and higher within.  To read more about the Price Rite project, visit our website. 

Designing and building from an owners perspective since 1975. As a fully-integrated firm, our team of architects, engineers and builders have been working together, perfecting our design-build craft, to deliver exceptional quality and craftmanship to our clients. Our designers, masons, carpenters, welders and field crews take pride in their work and the legacy they leave behind.