Turner is a founding member of AEC Unites, a breakthrough initiative seeking to inspire, promote, and spur equity and inclusion in the AEC industry for Black talent and Black-owned businesses. Peter Davoren, President and CEO, is serving as co-chair and secretary on the AEC Unites board of directors.
As a nonprofit membership organization, AEC Unites seeks to increase intentional opportunities for Black talent and Black-owned businesses in all facets of the AEC industry.
The construction industry is one of the nation’s largest, employing 9% of the total workforce and accounting for roughly 4.3% of GDP ($2.8 trillion in 2022).
“The construction industry is called upon to deliver vital civil infrastructure needs in every community in our country. But the shortage of labor and companies prepared to deliver this work and serve the growing needs of private and public sector clients limits our ability to meet demand and affects the strength and competitiveness of our country,” Turner Construction Company President and CEO Peter Davoren said.
Historically, Black employees have been underrepresented in AEC. In 2022, Black workers held only 7% of all AEC jobs even though they represented 13% of all workers. By contrast, White workers comprise 77% of the workforce yet hold 87% of all construction jobs and 83% of all architecture and engineering jobs.
AEC Unities will spearhead efforts that will range from partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other groups, to mentorship, training, professional development, and coaching, and will serve as a resource for Black talent. To create sustainable opportunities and support Black-owned businesses, it will offer member companies a database of Black-owned AEC businesses and a playbook on how to work with them.
“The industry not only has the capacity to absorb more people into our workforce and engage them in meaningful work with good wages, but also welcomes the opportunity to do so. AEC Unites can help us fulfill this goal,” Davoren noted.
AEC Unites’ members also seek to eliminate hate and bias in the workplace.
“We want to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone can be at their best, be authentic and be treated with respect and dignity,” Davoren added.
Creating the right environment, while also supporting economic development within the community, is well aligned with Turner’s Environmental, Social, and Governance Strategy – Building Today to Transform Tomorrow.
About AEC Unites: Founded in 2023, AEC Unites is aimed at inspiring, promoting and achieving equity and inclusion in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. Structured to facilitate intentional opportunities for Black talent and Black-owned businesses in AEC, it is a nonprofit membership organization open to all AEC companies who seek to eliminate hate and bias in the workplace. For more information or to join AEC Unites, visit https://aecunites.org/ or on LinkedIn.
AEC Unites is the brainchild of Deryl McKissack, who founded McKissack & McKissack in 1990. Joining AEC Unites as co-founders are Turner Construction Company President and CEO Peter Davoren as board co-chair and secretary and Jacobs Executive Chair Steve Demetriou as board co-chair and treasurer. Members of the founding board of directors include Hensel Phelps President and CEO Mike Choutka, WSP USA CEO Lou Cornell, Gensler Co-CEO Diane Hoskins, Stantec EVP and COO Stuart Lerner, Moody Nolan CEO Jonathan Moody, Clark Construction Group CEO Robert D. Moser, Jr., H.J. Russell CEO Michael Russell and former HOK Chairman and CEO Bill Helmuth, who passed away earlier this year, posthumously.