For years, the construction management industry has struggled with a lack of diversity among its job candidate pool. At Palmisano, leaders have long been active in trying to recruit and hire a diverse workforce. But recently, they have focused additional effort on helping create a more diverse talent pipeline.
As part of the company’s mission, The Palmisano Foundation, a 501c3, works with organizations such as Junior Achievement and Youth Rebuilding New Orleans, among others. The idea is to work with youth and let them know about career development opportunities in the construction industry. In addition, Palmisano plays a significant role in the ACE Mentor Program, which focuses on providing students with education and opportunities for long-term careers in the construction industry.
This past year, Palmisano partnered with the University of New Orleans to support the creation of a new Urban Construction Management program. The partnership marked a milestone, particularly since UNO’s ethnic diversity percentages are nearly double the national average. Also this year, the recipient of the 2020 Palmisano Foundation Scholarship was Dariana Bueso, a native of Honduras who plans to study civil engineering at UNO.
Most recently, Palmisano hired a full-time State and Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise coordinator whose sole responsibility is to build relationships with local municipalities and companies that have Disadvantaged Business Enterprise status. The goal is to build long-lasting relationships in order to continue to increase the diversity of Palmisano’s business and community partners.
“Our mission is to ‘Build a Better World’ and a diversified workforce is central to us accomplishing this,” said CEO Wesley Palmisano. “We know that making the most of the wealth of ideas, talents, skills, backgrounds and perspectives all around us helps us to do more and be more, together. As such, we consciously work to create an environment that respects and values the diversity of the people and world around us.”
Palmisano said the benefits of having an inclusive and diverse workforce are numerous. They include better innovation and decision-making by having more perspectives and ideas; a broader pool of job candidates, improved team member retention, an engaged workforce that contributes to the company’s social and economic goals and a better reflection of the diversity of the communities in which Palmisano operates.
“Our commitment to inclusion and diversity is reflected in all levels of our company, and our focus on inclusion and diversity aligns with our company’s core values of absolute integrity and building relationships,” Palmisano said.
That inclusive environment has become even more important as Palmisano has evolved to cater to the needs and priorities of modern businesses. The company specializes in commercial, historic renovation, hospitality, urban mixed-use, modernized healthcare facilities and infrastructure projects. Its recent work includes LCMC Children’s Hospital Northshore Center, Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy, Ace Hotel and the Higgins Hotel at the National World War II Museum.
“The new development happening in New Orleans is a key part of what’s driving its growth,” Palmisano said. “We believe that our mission to create a diversified workforce at Palmisano will not only deliver the best value for our clients, but will also support the collective job opportunities in our city.”