Elevating and Empowering with Education and Mentorship

Founded in 2015

Knutson Alliance Program

In 2015, Knutson launched the Knutson Alliance Program, also known as KAP. The 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 idea for the program stemmed from the gap Ramona Wilson, Diversity Director and Founder of KAP, saw between minority subcontractors who were unable to get work to sustain their businesses and project managers at general contractors, like Knutson, who had difficulty finding partners in various scopes of work. The innovative initiative aims to address both concerns, educating subcontractors on the best ways to present their businesses and allowing Knutson's project managers to more easily access potential project partners with wide scopes of work who may be able to fulfill a need.


Phase One

Ten minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses partook in the program during its introductory round in 2015-2016. After a 10-week bid packaging training process, the program’s full extent was intentioned as a 2 to 5-year commitment, containing continual development opportunities focused on building competitive bidding skills that would allow participants to lock in project partnerships with general contractors like Knutson.


KAP 2.0

The second cohort experienced a delay in its launch due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing Knutson’s team to intentionally explore the program’s first installment and adjust processes and expectations while also investing in more well-rounded measurement tools, dedicated to ensuring success for all participants throughout the course of the program. Nearly twenty diverse businesses expect to partake in “KAP 2.0”, launching officially in September 2023.

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Understanding Equity and Providing Opportunities

We understand that true equity requires acknowledging that we do not all start in the same place. For this reason, we seek to educate and empower others, providing new and strong opportunity for those seeking it.

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 recognize that it is in our best interest as a company and a community to encourage a broad base of subcontractors, suppliers, and vendor relationships, and understand that by utilizing diverse businesses, we are not only contributing to the economic growth and expansion of our local communities but also providing opportunities for deserving businesses who may have initially been sidelined by disadvantage. Knutson continuously seeks ways to partner with diverse talent, suppliers, and subcontractors; within KAP, we are able to assist in broadening the reach of these partners within the greater community, and provide them with the tools they need to grow their business successfully.

As a General Contractor, Knutson Construction, has been the rock for our company to lean. In 2015 Knutson awarded our company one of its first contracts. Their support extended past the contracts with assisting our company with vital components to our business such as our much needed umbrella policy for our general liability insurance. Knutson has continued to support our company through their KAP Program. It is not only an industry educational program but also creates access to the decision makers within Knutson for subcontracting opportunities. As a small minority and woman owned company, Knutson has offered us a level playing field and the ability compete with other subcontractors in the industry. Knutson has been a major key to our growth and continued success over the past 5 years. We hold a tremendous amount of gratitude and respect for Knutson and their KAP Program.

Wendy Sullivan, Owner and CEO

WENRICH PD Construction, LLC.

Get Involved

For more information on the KAP, or to apply for participation in the next phase, please contact Ramona Wilson, Diversity Director, by email at [email protected].

DE&I Efforts at Knutson

Building a Culture of Belonging

We are proud of our steadfast internal efforts to build and maintain a culture that wholly supports diversity. We have strived to increase our percentage of supplier/subcontractor relationships and bolster our commitment to working with diverse businesses on projects, not because it is a contemporary business strategy but because it is the right thing to do. Our continuous work mentoring and partnering with those businesses through initiatives like KAP helps set our diverse partners up for success while also allowing Knutson to continue to improve diversity workforce participation.

Building this culture of belonging is and will continue to be one of our strategic corporate goals, because we know a diverse workforce positively impacts our people, projects, and point of view. To learn more about our trailblazing efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion, visit our Diversity page.