Roger Williams University and Shawmut launch education-to-career pipeline

April 09, 2021 - Rhode Island
Evan Raffi, Ellie Phetteplace, Annelise Boylan and Katilin Dellarocca, graduates in the engineering program at RWU, got an up-close look at an active construction site from Shawmut Design and Construction during an engineering course in 2019

BRISTOL, RI With the goal of expanding and diversifying the talent pipeline within the construction and engineering industries, Roger Williams University and Shawmut Design and Construction are launching a much-needed partnership to develop talented underrepresented students majoring in engineering and construction management.

The university and construction management firm announced Shawmut’s commitment to implement the Shawmut Scholars Program at RWU. The initiative will provide three Roger Williams University students with four-year scholarship support, paid internships at Shawmut, career and professional development, and an additional stipend for housing and transportation costs. The inaugural Shawmut Scholars will be selected from new RWU students who choose engineering or construction management majors, entering as first-year students in fall 2021.

“I am thrilled to announce the new Shawmut Scholars Program as the next evolution in our long and productive partnership with the nationally renowned company. For years, Shawmut has been a leading employer of our graduates, recognizing the real-world training that makes them ready to hit the ground running as construction professionals when they enter the workplace,” said RWU president Ioannis Miaoulis. “This program is a representation of our core values and commitment to removing barriers to education for historically minoritized communities through the ongoing work of our RWU Equity Action Plan.”

As a national construction management firm with 10 offices nationwide, Shawmut has been a leader in diversifying the construction industry across the country. Shawmut is dedicated to accelerating its diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) work to drive tangible, quantifiable results across an industry that has faced a glaring lack of diversity.

“At Shawmut, we are deeply committed to the belief that organizations thrive when they foster talent and innovation through a diversity of people and thought,” said Les Hiscoe, CEO of Shawmut. “We couldn’t have a better partner in developing the most talented professionals for our industry than Roger Williams University, with its outstanding and nationally-ranked programs in construction management and engineering.”

The RWU School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management (SECCM) is uniquely positioned to provide solutions to recruitment challenges for traditionally unrepresented and employees of color in the construction industry. With its exceptional faculty and student-focused, hands-on curriculum, RWU’s programs prepare graduates to be industry-ready on day one. As part of its commitment to experiential learning, the University partnered with Shawmut to open the SECCM Labs building in 2020, a facility featuring unique project rooms that provide students the opportunity to test designs and apply new practical skills in a laboratory environment.

Nationally, the construction industry is facing a significant gap in diverse employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only three percent of construction management professionals are Black, 15% are Hispanic, and 8% are women.

“We are thrilled to launch Shawmut Scholars with RWU to further drive diversity in the industry, starting at the ground floor when students are beginning to shape their careers,” said Marianne Monte, chief people officer of Shawmut. “We are dedicated to this work because future generations of builders and leaders are depending on us to break the cycle and provide meaningful opportunities for success in the industry.”

The Shawmut Scholars Program at RWU will expand access to a high-quality education by providing tuition assistance and paid professional development opportunities for underrepresented students with financial need who choose to major in engineering or construction management. For more information on the RWU’s Shawmut Scholars Program, please visit: https://www.rwu.edu/undergraduate/admission-aid/financial-aid/types-aid/endowed-scholarships-and-awards 

About RWU: With campuses on the coast of Bristol and in the heart of Providence, R.I., Roger Williams University is a forward-thinking private university committed to strengthening society through engaged teaching and learning. At RWU, small classes, direct access to faculty and guaranteed opportunity for real-world projects ensure that its nearly 4,000 undergraduates – along with hundreds of law students, graduate students and adult learners – graduate with the ability to think critically along with the practical skills that today’s employers demand. Roger Williams is leading the way in American higher education, confronting the most pressing issues facing students and families – increasing costs, rising debt and job readiness.

About Shawmut: Shawmut Design and Construction is a $1.5 billion national construction management firm with a reputation for completing extremely complex and logistically challenging projects for the most high-profile clients in the industry. As an ESOP (employee-owned) company, Shawmut has created a culture of ownership, proactive solution-making, and forward thinking. Eighty percent of its business comes from repeat clients, proving there is a strong focus on building lasting partnerships.

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