Black History Month at Swinerton: Celebrating the Achievements & Contributions of Black Employees

Black History Month at Swinerton: Celebrating the Achievements & Contributions of Black Employees

In the spirit of Black History Month, Swinerton is taking a moment to honor and celebrate the remarkable achievements and contributions of its Black employees. This month serves as an opportunity to reflect on the rich history and enduring legacy of our Black Community, who have made significant strides in various fields despite facing numerous obstacles and systemic challenges.

Among those leading the charge at Swinerton are Kuumba Herron, Erika Frederick, Dreylon Pree, and Cherece Milton–each with unique experiences and perspectives to share.

Kuumba Herron, a Superintendent with Swinerton for 14 years, reflects on his professional journey of evolution and growth. After starting as a Laborer, he worked up to his current position, demonstrating resilience and leadership. For Kuumba, the essence of Black History Month lies in honoring the struggles faced by individuals who paved the way for future generations. He remarks, “Black History Month is a time for me and my family to honor and celebrate the achievements and contributions that individuals seek out during times that I couldn’t even imagine going through.”

Erika Frederick, a Solutions Manager with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Application Team, emphasizes the importance of building connections and fostering inclusivity within the Swinerton community. Through her engagement with peers and business end users, Erika strives to create lasting improvements that impact the organization positively. She notes, “Black History Month promotes inclusion, community, and learning, and I personally hope to embody that more and more both inside and outside of work.”

Dreylon Pree, a Project Manager, personally resonates with the representation that Black History Month promotes. Witnessing his uncle’s journey from a union carpenter to a business owner inspired Dreylon and opened his eyes to the myriad of opportunities within the construction industry. He shares, “Representation matters. As a child, seeing my uncle… opened my eyes to all the different respectable career opportunities that construction offers.”

Cherece Milton, who leads Swinerton’s collegiate recruitment program, highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion in driving organizational success. Through her efforts, she has helped increase racial and gender representation in Swinerton’s internship program and new graduate hires. Cherece says, “Black History Month prompts important reflections on the ongoing journey toward equality and justice. It serves as a time to recognize the struggles and triumphs that have shaped our collective history.”

As Black History Month unfolds, Swinerton remains steadfast in its commitment to celebrating the achievements and contributions of its Black employees in the construction industry. By honoring their stories and experiences, Swinerton reaffirms its dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion, fostering a workplace where every individual can thrive and succeed.

In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of Swinerton’s Black employees, it’s essential to recognize the broader context of diversity in construction. Historically, the Black Community has been severely underrepresented in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, which employs over 13 million workers, or 9% of the U.S. workforce. In 2022, Black workers held only 7% of all AEC jobs, even though they represented 13% of the total workforce in the U.S. [1] These statistics underscore the importance of initiatives aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion within the industry.

Throughout Black History Month and beyond, Swinerton reaffirms its commitment to celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion in the construction industry. Together, we will continue to champion the voices and experiences of our Black colleagues, paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future in construction.

Davon Riddick, journey began at Colorado State University, where he laid the foundation for his career in construction. After furthering his education in Construction Management at the University of Houston, Davon gained invaluable experience with internships and later with a small, Black-owned general contractor in Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

Davon brought with him a wealth of knowledge and a strong commitment to excellence when he joined Swinerton. His dedication was evident as he contributed his talents to the construction of significant projects, including a ground-up grade schools.

As we celebrate Black History Month, Davon reflects on the resilience and achievements of Black individuals throughout history. “It’s a time to honor the progress we’ve made and the work that still lies ahead towards equality and justice,” he says.

His overall interview process with Swinerton was incomparable to any others he had before, he adds. “I knew about their core values, reputation for excellence, and how much they value their employees, which made my decision to work here easy.” At Swinerton, Davon finds not just projects, but a supportive community driven by core values of ownership, leadership, integrity, passion, and excellence.

Marlon Richardson, has been part of significant projects such as the Fort Carson Railyard and a Confidential Project at Peterson Air Force Base. He took on a pivotal role in 2022 when he started on Swinerton’s Flora Apartments project, managing the concrete subcontractor (CFA), ensuring quality control for deck inspections, and meticulously overseeing safety standards. “The Flora project was challenging, with numerous obstacles, but we worked as a cohesive team, overcoming every hurdle to deliver a commendable product,” Marlon proudly states.

What keeps Marlon devoted to Swinerton are not just the projects, but the core values of ownership, leadership, integrity, passion, and excellence the company upholds. Marlon also emphasizes the significance of Swinerton’s commitment to employee development. “Swinerton is an employee-owned company. We all know we succeed as a team, and if a project does well, we all do well,” he says. The company’s extensive training programs, including apprenticeships and specialized training for foremen and superintendents, highlight Swinerton’s dedication to nurturing its talent.

As an immigrant from the Caribbean, Marlon reflects on the importance of equality at Swinerton, saying, “I appreciate and understand that the sky is the limit for people that have the drive to succeed with this company.” Marlon Richardson’s journey with Swinerton is not just a testament to his skills as a Carpenter Foreman but also a story of how a company’s values and support can shape the success of its employees.