Layton conference room

Last fall, Layton’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) team officially launched its Trade Partner Equity Program (TPEP).

“The mission of the Trade Partner Equity Program is to add economic value to our company by encouraging and enabling the growth of diverse businesses,” said Cherelle Cortez, Layton’s national director of DE&I. “The program will educate, empower, and equip minority, women, and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs) to improve their economic viability for success in today’s market while developing a partnering relationship with Layton Construction.”

Here Cherelle explains more about the TPEP and how it will help open new doors for MWDBE trade partners and strengthen relationships for Layton and their clients.

What is Layton’s TPEP and how will it work?

“The Layton Trade Partner Equity Program will provide education, tools, and other resources to minority, women, and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs). Our goal is to build trust and eliminate barriers by working with us, and to help MWDBEs grow their business. This program provides mentorship, technical assistance, training, workshops, and intentional touchpoints. Each monthly session of the seven-month program will involve four hours of in-person, hands-on development. Layton’s commitment of time and resources is provided free of charge, but we look at it as paying our success forward to the communities where we live and work. In return, Layton will see a return on investment (ROI) by having a larger, more diverse pool of quality trade partners that can bid on contracts.”

What are some of the topics that will be covered?

“The TPEP will include a deep dive into Layton’s prequalification process and requirements, as well as how to bid competitively. Our safety program will also be a core part of the curriculum and will include a tour of one of our job sites. Marketing, technology, and other business tools and resources will be covered as well. Additionally, networking and connecting these companies with others who can help them grow their business will be a key part of the program.”

Who will provide the training?

“We have partnered with internal subject matter experts to facilitate the courses, and we’ve also reached out to some of our community partners to provide education on topics like small-business banking and bonding. This effort is a partnership between Layton and leaders in the community.”

How many companies are participating, and how does a company sign up?

“Our current class sizes range from seven to 10 companies, with a total of 34 companies participating in the initial offering across the four offices (Nashville, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Irvine). We carefully vetted each company to ensure they qualify for the program. To be eligible, companies must be a minority- or woman-owned business (51 percent). Interested companies should complete the application on the Layton DE&I web page. Once an application has been submitted, we review it to determine if a company or organization is qualified. The goal is to offer the seven-month program at our main offices once per year.”

How will you measure the success of the program?

“One way we’ll measure success is by the number of MWDBEs that participate in the training, complete our prequalification process, and bid on our projects. We will track each businesses’ success and growth, and perhaps the best measure will be the number of those companies that win contracts and are actively working with us. Having those success stories, where someone comes back and says, ‘Hey, I participated in the Layton Trade Partner Equity Program and look what it’s done for us,’ is what the program is all about.”

Is there anything else you want to share about the TPEP or our supplier diversity efforts?

“Yes. First, I’d like to give two shout-outs. In Phoenix, we recently got inducted to the Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence for the second time. So, we surpassed the million-dollar annual spend requirement. Our total MWDBE spend today in the Phoenix office is over $31.2 million. So, I want to extend a huge congratulations to the Phoenix office for their commitment to supplier diversity.

The second shout-out I want to give is to HCG, specifically the Sky Ridge Medical Center IP renovation project. The owner set a 12 percent MWDBE goal, and we are targeting to achieve 16 percent MWDBE spend. So, I want to recognize and thank our Denver office on exceeding their MWDBE goal.I also want to recognize and thank the Layton DE&I team for their hard work and dedication. Our program is less than two years old, but we’ve already made a big impact at Layton and within the small-business community. And there’s so much more great work to come.I would like to conclude with this thought: Along with our core values of Honesty, Safety, Unity, and Quality, it is a priority for us to be inclusive and to work with diverse business owners on all our projects. Our supplier diversity program can be a cornerstone of our success and growth as we help MWDBEs become more competitive. Diversity is also one of Layton’s greatest strengths. The diversity of our team allows us to be more creative and innovative. The same is true for our trade partners. As we value, nurture, and celebrate diversity, it will make us better and enable us to deliver predicable outcomes for our clients.”