Embracing the Power of Diversity
Diversity Improves Our Business and the Communities We Serve
Knutson is deeply committed to cultivating and upholding diversity throughout our workforce, relationships, and communities. We recognize the utmost importance of continually advancing our comprehension of diversity, equity, and inclusion as transformative forces within our work, industry, and company values.
Our unwavering dedication to diversity and inclusion extends to embracing individuals from all backgrounds and nationalities, actively engaging in outreach initiatives, providing ongoing training and development opportunities, and implementing rigorous evaluations to gauge the impact of our construction endeavors. By utilizing these essential tools, we remain steadfast in our pursuit of a workforce that authentically represents the diverse communities we serve. We firmly believe that this inclusive approach enables us to produce work that is truly meaningful and impactful.
Building a Culture of Belonging
At Knutson, we take great pride in our commitment to cultivating and nurturing a culture that wholeheartedly embraces diversity, ensuring a sense of true belonging for our employees, project partners, and community members. Establishing and supporting a culture of acceptance and appreciation for all individuals remains a strategic corporate goal for us, as we firmly believe that diversity positively influences our people, projects, and perspectives. Inclusion has been a long-standing initiative at Knutson, rooted not only as a trendy corporate pursuit but as a genuine core value that has garnered us numerous accolades and recognition.
We firmly believe that diverse opinions, stemming from varied backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge, ultimately lead us to new solutions for our projects. This is why we champion diversity education at every level of our organization, from our leadership to each individual employee, fostering an award-winning culture where every team member feels a sense of belonging.
Subcontractors and Suppliers
Knutson Construction has a history of and is committed to working with minority, women, and local subcontractors. We continuously seek ways to support small businesses and collaborate with subcontractors to ensure we get the best possible pricing and the highest value for diverse participation on our projects, while also providing opportunities for growth to those that seek it.
Our strong relationships with both minority and women business organizations allows us to promote industry opportunities and hire the best candidates for the job — meaning everybody wins. Our track record is unmatched in meeting or exceeding all parties’ diverse business goals; both those required by our clients as well as our own self-imposed goals. Contractors who bid with Knutson always have a clear understanding that winning the bid is not based on price alone; we determine how much diverse workforce participation is possible within their business, and identify areas of opportunity as well.
United in Diversity
We demonstrate our commitment to diversity by knowing that it is in our best interest to encourage a broad base of subcontractors, suppliers, and vendor relationships, and by understanding that utilizing diverse businesses contributes to the economic growth and expansion of the communities we serve. Our objective is to offer these businesses the opportunity to align with all other subcontractors, suppliers, and vendors in the competitive marketplace, ensuring that our customers get the best prices for the products and services that we provide. Knutson continuously seeks ways to partner with diverse talent, suppliers, and subcontractors; we often utilize organizations and agencies that specialize in professional development and advancement of our diverse community members when recruiting. And once partnered, we actively assist in broadening the reach of these partners within the greater community.
As Knutson’s Diversity Director, Ramona works collaboratively with project teams to achieve or exceed diversity goals, build relationships with minority- and women-owned subcontractor firms, and develop, implement, and monitor business inclusion plans. Her work has significantly improved Knutson’s diversity workforce and relationships with diverse suppliers, as well as helped build and maintain a company culture that wholly supports diversity.
Ramona is a well-known champion of diversity in the industry and has won several awards such as Advocate of the Year for NAMC, Minority Business Advocate for MMSDC, and was named one of the top 100 women in supplier diversity by Women Enterprise Magazine. Her creation of the Knutson Alliance Program (KAP) in 2015 provides developmental opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the construction industry.
Ramona’s commitment to building up diverse communities as well as continuing to use her platform to engage and educate others on diverse and impactful relationship building is a reason she was recognized as one of the the top 200 Black Leaders You Should Know and named a Women in Business honoree by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in 2023.
Ana is Knutson’s Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator and works closely with Ramona Wilson, Diversity Director, to implement company-wide strategic DE&I objectives. She actively partners with Knutson team members, committees, and leadership to execute events, policies, programs, and activities related to DE&I, including the Knutson Alliance Program and other community-focused initiatives. Ana brings experience and knowledge in both diversity and construction to her role from her time with a local professional AEC association, and is excited to be a resource for both internal and external entities who have a desire to improve their understanding and/or involvement in DE&I initiatives.
Knutson Alliance Program
In 2015, Knutson launched the Knutson Alliance Program (KAP). This program is dedicated to engaging, mentoring, and empowering diverse businesses to grow steadily and thoughtfully through competitive opportunities provided within shared markets. Selected program participants attend quarterly professional development presentations as well as numerous networking events designed to increase connection and opportunity between general contractors, like Knutson, and subcontractors eager to expand their project portfolios.
The Knutson Alliance Program is one of many initiatives Knutson has taken on in an effort to be an upstander for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the construction industry. We acknowledge the mutual benefit for both our company and the community in promoting a wide range of subcontractors, suppliers, and vendor relationships, recognizing that engaging with diverse businesses not only contributes to the economic development of our local communities but also creates opportunities for deserving businesses that may have faced initial disadvantages.
Providing a Platform
It is important for us to recognize and remedy barriers our employees encounter within the work they do. We strive to identify these obstacles and actively eliminate them, empowering our entire team to excel both at Knutson as well as within the construction industry. We know these initiatives are impactful for all, but this is especially true for disadvantaged groups who may struggle to find their place in the industry due to preconceived notions and falsities.
At Knutson, minority groups, like women, are given an opportunity and encouraged to share their perspectives and ideas. Knutson’s Women’s Employee Resource Group (ERG), formed in 2021, works to ensure our female employees feel assured, inspired, and appreciated in the work they do and allows women across the company to actively build in community and connect on a more intentional level outside daily work functions with employees from both office and field participating. This unique sampling of contributors encourages diverse perspectives and ideas – many of which will positively impact Knutson both internally and externally.