The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has honored minority-owned design and build firm KAI Enterprises for championing a diverse workforce and inclusive environment with its 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award in the Mid-Size Contractor Category. KAI CEO Michael Kennedy, Jr. accepted the award at the organization’s national convention on Sept. 23 in Orlando, FL.
“KAI is and has been an advocate for creating inclusive communities and is clearly dedicated to increasing diversity in their staff and workforce. KAI’s D&I efforts are a part of their core values and can be seen in their corporate processes,” according to statements from the D&I Awards judges. “It is exciting to see companies like KAI continue to embrace and implement D&I efforts as not the ‘right thing to do’ but rather as a key element for the organization’s success.”
The AGC Diversity & Inclusion Excellence awards honor AGC members that are champions in advancing diversity and fostering a culture of inclusion within their workforce, supply chain and in the communities they serve. By showcasing and recognizing best practices from companies that are developing and delivering diversity and inclusion initiatives with demonstrable success, award winners have the opportunity to share their track record of achievement and commitment. Award applicants were judged on corporate commitment, workforce diversity and business diversity.
KAI continues to be a leader in the industry, taking a proactive role in initiating and accomplishing diversity goals and participation in the workplace. Quality, diversity and providing opportunities for everyone is part of the culture at KAI and formalized in the company’s policies and best practices.
“We believe that diverse perspectives and backgrounds bring strength to our work in both our daily operations and our final product,” said KAI CEO Michael Kennedy, Jr. “As a minority-owned firm, we feel it’s important to advocate for inclusive communities, and we are committed to diversity in our workforce, clients and projects. Establishing a firm grounded on diversity is where the core of KAI’s foundation stands.”
Headquartered in St. Louis, KAI is a 100% Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) certified through the State of Missouri and the City of St. Louis/St. Louis Airport Authority. KAI also maintains certification with the largest nationally recognized certifying organization, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).
Year after year, KAI has successfully maintained a much higher than industry standard when it comes to workforce diversity. This goal is communicated to every hiring manager to be cognizant and intentional while searching for diverse talent.
KAI’s in-house workforce diversity goes well beyond ownership, 49% of KAI’s current staff represents women and minorities. KAI has initiated several employment advertising campaigns in local publications that specifically target potential MBE/DBE/SDVE/WBE employees. KAI also has a strong outreach program to identify minority-owned and woman-owned businesses that they can collaborate with on projects, and KAI participates in organizations and events that focus on minority inclusion in the construction industry.
“Diversity and inclusion are integrated into our job responsibilities because KAI feels that it is our duty to be the ambassador of diversity. We thrive on encouraging diversity and inclusion into our job functions,” said Kennedy. “We appreciate the AGC for honoring our diversity efforts.”