Member Spotlight: Michael Gifford, AGC’s president

Associated General Contractors (AGC) is Colorado’s leading professional association for the state’s commercial building industry, providing members with a competitive edge through excellence in advocacy, collaboration, leadership, networking, workforce development, and services. The AGC Colorado membership is comprised of 650 very large and small general contractors and specialty contractors (both union and non-union shops, public and privately owned), suppliers and professional service providers.

As the leader and unified voice of the Colorado construction industry, AGC Colorado provides benefits and business resources ranging from: networking opportunities in Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and the Rocky Mountain Region; dynamic committees; innovative education programs; award-winning workforce programs, including apprenticeship and high school trades programs, construction safety services, including a CHASE Partnership Program with OSHA; advocacy at a local, state and national level and more.

In its 2018 strategic plan, AGC made well-being and mental health, as well as diversity and inclusion, a major priority.

“We put all of this work under our Culture of Care umbrella,” says Michael Gifford, AGC’s president. “We have made great strides, including adding 50 minority certified firms now as part of our membership, significantly increasing minority and women representation in our workforce programs, and a well-being and mental health counseling program called YouTurn. Now we are turning our attention to helping construction companies improve their recruitment and hiring programs to include more diverse populations.”

This is where Colorado Inclusive Economy comes in.

“CIE is a phenomenal organization that offers essential diversity and inclusion leadership training,” Gifford says. “Each cohort supports leaders through facilitation, an evolving resource toolkit, and peer support to help build specific diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. This program allows leaders to do more of that internal work – to understand and recognize conscious and unconscious biases and begin to build a shared language.”

For AGC, Gifford says CIE has provided two main benefits so far. At the staff level, AGC has taken steps to re-evaluate its recruiting and hiring processes and engage in further conversations to bolster diversity in the association’s staff.

“I am proud to say we have a more diverse team today while always hiring the best person for the job,” he says.

At the same time, AGC has seen construction executive interest in becoming members of CIE and joining Cohort 7 in September 2023.

“We look forward to continuing to grow our Diversity and Culture of Care Committee and infusing the lessons learned through CIE,” Gifford adds. “AGC is proud to partner with CIE to bring these essential diversity and inclusion leadership trainings to the Colorado construction industry by sharing this with our members.”

July 15, 2023