July 8, 2016
March 16, 2016
DeAnna Andrews is Sundt’s Small Business Coordinator in California. With small businesses employing about half of the private sector workers and creating 75 percent of the net new jobs in our economy, DeAnna’s role is to engage with that community to ensure that Sundt has a diverse group of subcontractors working on its projects.
DeAnna has a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and certifications that include Design Build Institute of America (DBIA), Alliance of Supplier Diversity Professional, San Diego State Green Building Construction, Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) and San Diego State Construction Management Practices.
How did you get into the construction industry?
I came in as a two-day temp file clerk assisting one of the Project Administrators working on a Long Beach project. Two days turned into two weeks and then that PA received a Sundt-sponsored scholarship to the University of Phoenix. When she left, I stepped into the PA role. I am now in my 23rd year of employment. I have worn many hats over the years: Project Administrator, Quality Control Engineer, Project Engineer, Estimator, Project Labor Compliance, Small Business Manager and now California District Small Business Coordinator.
What does your job entail?
I identify the local, small, disadvantaged, minority, women and veteran owned business requirements on specific projects at the preconstruction phase and assist the estimators and Project Managers/Project Superintendents to create a plan to meet and exceed the requirements for the project. Having 12 years of field experience with plans, specs and work scopes allows me the ability and knowledge to break out specific work scopes to provide small business opportunities. I also work closely with the field team and when they have a need for a specific trade or general requirements business, I provide them with companies to contact. My overall responsibility is to make sure we comply with what we promise owners in our proposal responses and identify opportunities for small, diverse business participation on our projects or in our offices.
How important is it to have minority-owned or small business represented among our project subcontractors?
The backbone of our country is small business. As a large general contractor, it is beneficial for us to support and mentor these businesses and help them where we can so they contribute more to our national and especially local economy. Due to the major impact small businesses make on our economy, we must provide opportunity for them to grow.
What does Sundt do to ensure that it has a diverse subcontractor base?
Sundt recently created a registration system to allow tiers, vendors, suppliers and professional service businesses to get in our database. We use this information to provide opportunities for networking with our larger subcontractors on our projects. Since 2013, we have averaged about 25 outreach/networking events in Southern California, mainly San Diego, where we have done matchmaking, formal presentations, hosted or had a booth and have met or presented to thousands of people. Because of these events, Sundt is very well known in the small business community and we have had good results in providing opportunities on the last five projects I have tracked. These five projects have employed more than 800 firms (including subcontractors, tier-subcontractors, vendors, suppliers and professional services firms) and helped small, minority and veteran owned businesses earn more than $320 million.
What kind of feeling do you get when you’re able to bring good, qualified small businesses on to our projects?
I enjoy seeing the faces of the small business owners when they meet me at an event and they are excited to tell me how well they are doing now because of that specific experience with a Sundt project. I also am very proud of Sundt when a small business tells another business that Sundt does what it says it was going to do. I want Sundt to be known in the industry as the company that goes beyond checking the box and we “think SMALL … business.”
March 9, 2016
Safety is a critical part of Sundt’s company culture. Protection of students and faculty at San Diego City College as well as our workforce was our top priority during the Center for Media and Performing Arts project.
The community college construction project consisted of the demolition and renovation of the interior of a 50-year-old building for existing departments in radio/TV/journalism, dramatic arts, dance and music. The scope also included renovations of an adjacent courtyard and several office spaces in an adjacent building where two radio stations are relocated.
To ensure safe completion, we used a Task Hazard Analysis (THA) system. At the start of renovations, hazardous conditions or tasks were identified and broken into individual elements. Once identifications were made, work plans were put into effect to maintain a safe environment through each of the identified hazards. A THA was also performed with every subcontractor, and weekly safety meetings were held at the jobsite.
The team also implemented a housekeeping plan for subcontractors, providing detailed requirements related to just-in-time delivery, expectations for daily and continuous cleaning, proper material storage guidelines and outlining procedures related to the composite cleanup sessions. As a result, the project received an excellent housekeeping score on every Sundt Safety Task Force inspection along with every safety inspection performed by the district’s safety consultant.
February 25, 2016
Jails and prisons are places most people don’t want to enter once much less multiple times. The purpose of the new $144 million Maple Street Correctional Center in Redwood City, California is to ensure that prisoners get their lives together and don’t have to come back.
The center, which opened with a ribbon-cutting earlier this month, is a 576-bed facility that has a separate area with 88 beds for work furlough prisoners. Those inmates are allowed to leave the facility during the day for work, school or training. Work furlough inmates are housed separately from the general population.
“There is a trend in corrections to make jails and prisons more able to address trying to keep current inmates from getting into the recidivism cycle by getting them ready to merge back into society in a normalized manner,” said Sundt Project Director Steve Blaylock.
The criminal justice project, a joint venture with Layton Construction, houses pre-trial and sentenced inmates, ranging from minimum to maximum security women and minimum/medium security men. It replaces the old Maple Street complex, reducing San Mateo County’s severe overcrowding issues.
Staff ensures inmates appear in court and complete jail sentences, are incarcerated in a manner that provides for their medical, nutritional, hygienic, legal and spiritual needs and receive services designed to provide opportunities to improve their lives, both during and after incarceration, in order to reduce recidivism.
Visitation at the facility includes video capabilities as well as a children’s area that makes kids and families feel safe and welcome.
February 19, 2016
After a celebratory ribbon-cutting earlier this month, a new, modern courthouse in California’s Kings County has opened its doors. The Superior Court of Kings County criminal justice facility in Hanford is one of five that Sundt has completed or is working on for the Judicial Council of California.
Our comprehensive preconstruction review included multiple disciplines, construction professionals, courthouse experts and specialty consultants. During the value engineering and life cycle review, we were able to enhance the project by including ice storage tanks for a thermal energy storage system. This value-added item gives the building a system that will provide long-term savings on utilities without increasing project cost.
The 144,600-square-foot building has 10 courtrooms, with another two spaces shelled out for growth, plus a jury assembly room, subterranean parking structure and an underground tunnel that connects to the nearby county jail.
In addition to accommodating criminal, civil, juvenile and family law cases, the new courthouse design includes a self-help center and family court mediation rooms. Security is improved with the incorporation of separate hallways and facilities for the public, court staff and in-custody detainees.
Sundt is committed to hiring a diverse workforce and is constantly looking for chances to employ the industry’s best people and introduce others to exciting opportunities within construction. We are proud to introduce a series in our blog and on social media that provides insights into accomplishments made by our company’s veterans and women while highlighting successful careers and opportunities available in our industry. We’re proud of our diverse culture and thankful for each employee-owner’s contributions. Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn andTwitter as we celebrate the things that make Sundt an employer of choice where people thrive in a culture of diversity.
Teri Jones is a Vice President for Sundt and is responsible for Business Development for the California District. She earned her degree in Civil Engineering – Building Design from the University of Southern California and is in her 37th year in the construction industry.
She has held many positions in the industry including Estimator, Project Manager, Project Executive, Owner’s Representative, Inspector, District Manager and CEO of her own construction company.
Teri is a LEED accredited professional, Certified Professional Constructor, certified instructor, guest lecturer at UC Davis, is past president of the Sundt Foundation and currently sits on the Construction Management Advisory Board at UC Berkeley. She has been with Sundt for 16 years.
How did you get involved in construction?
In high school, I registered for some drafting classes and soon realized I had a passion for the built environment. I loved reading 2D blueprints and visualizing 3D buildings that could be constructed from the drawings. So, after receiving my degree in Civil Engineering from USC, I was hired as an estimator at a general contracting firm. After a short stint in estimating, I became a project engineer and then project manager.
What is it about the industry that motivates you every day?
Every day poses different challenges and opportunities to be part of the solution to that challenge. This is a very fast-paced industry and there is never a dull moment. But mostly, it’s the people that motivate me every day. Construction people are very hard-working and I thoroughly enjoy working alongside them every day. Assembling teams made up of clients, designers, engineers and construction personnel to execute projects and work together is a very rewarding part of our business. Interfacing with so many different people from diverse backgrounds with sometimes different goals and personalities can be daunting, but also satisfying when the entire team can point to a completed project and say ‘I helped make that happen!’ Even today, when I drive by a project that I was involved with 20 or 30 years ago, I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Is it getting more common to see women on jobsites?
Yes, it is much more common today than when I started in the industry in 1979. You rarely saw females on the jobsites back then and some companies even had policies against allowing females to work on site. Today, you seldom see a jobsite without females. They are present in roles such as Owner Representative, Inspector, Project Engineer, Project Manager and Project Superintendent.
Why work at Sundt?
Sundt offers so many advantages as an employer, not found at many of our competitors. Since we are an ESOP, you become an owner of the company. We are diverse in our sectors: Industrial, Transportation and Building, which gives you the opportunity to cross-train and experience different facets of the industry. We also have an excellent training program that will assist you in continuing your education and developing skills that will allow you to advance your career.
You and others have proven that women can move up in the construction industry. How much room for advancement is there for Sundt’s female employees?
The opportunities for advancement at Sundt for all employees is unlimited. First and foremost, employees need to focus on doing an excellent job at whatever their current assignment is. Secondly, learn as much as you can about the business of construction, network, cross-train, develop diverse skills and fine-tune those people skills. You never know when an opportunity for advancement will present itself and you need to be ready to act. Most technical skills can be learned, but people skills is the key to success in this business if you want to advance.
How much of a priority do you see Sundt placing on hiring women?
Sundt is very focused on hiring women and it’s a key part of the Strategic Plan going forward. At Sundt, it’s not just about achieving a specific number or percentage. It’s more about doing the right thing and hiring qualified candidates to fill positions and develop a more diversified workforce.
What would you say to female college students who are considering futures in construction and why should they consider Sundt?
I would say ‘Go for it!’ if you like to work hard, have fun and have a passion for the industry.