Clark Builders: Building Inclusive Futures

“We recognize our similarities and celebrate our differences in building an inclusive and diverse culture where every team member feels valued, respected, and inspired to make a difference in their communities.” – Steve Lenarduzzi

In the spring of 2022, Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) met with Steve Lenarduzzi, President of Clark Builders to explore the impacts of inclusive hiring (Building Communities for Everyone). Since then, Clark Builders has continued to grow in their inclusion efforts and continues to be a leader in inclusive employment practices.

Steve notes, “We have been very grateful to see the continued positive impact of hiring in partnership with Inclusion Alberta and RWA. When we first started working with Inclusion Alberta, we had one labourer. He excelled, quickly gaining well-rounded construction experience, and inspiring the team with his reliability and positive attitude.”

Through a partnership between Clark Builders, Inclusion Alberta, and North Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), it became possible for him to advance into a carpentry role, seizing the opportunity to become the first carpenter apprentice identifying with a disability in the province and laying the groundwork for others to follow. Since then, Clark Builders have had the great pleasure of seeing another worker, hired in partnership with Inclusion Alberta, advance his career and pursue an inclusive education in the trades. Last year he completed his technical training, and Steve and his team are excited to share that, as of June 2024, Clark Builders will have both first- and second-year carpentry apprentices hired through RWA on their team.

The employees hired through Inclusion Alberta and RWA are an integral part of the team who have found success and growth in their careers on key projects such as Dr. Anne Anderson High School and the University of Alberta Commons. Steve mentions, “These team members continue to leave their mark wherever they go and take solace in being accepted as part of the team rather than being treated differently.”

Ron Egan, workforce manager at Clark Builders explains “From the early stages of working with Inclusion Alberta, we started to see the positive impacts of diverse hiring ripple throughout our team and organization. As our RWA employees progress through their careers, we have seen an incredible transformation in them as individuals. The increased confidence we have seen in our Apprentice since returning from school has been extremely positive and rewarding not only for himself, but also for the team he works with. This experience has encouraged one of his coworkers to also start out on a similar journey. We look forward to continuing to work with these valuable employees and continue to support them with their career progression through inclusive post-secondary education and opportunities.”

Clark Builders had some amazing initiatives for their employees and greater community since the last success story. Steve recalls, “Through the development and launch of their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy we recognize our similarities and celebrate our differences in building an inclusive and diverse culture where every team member feels valued, respected, and inspired to make a difference in their communities. We are also committed to maximizing local participation in our projects and providing meaningful benefits to the communities where we work, through local and inclusive staffing to enhance employment inclusion and job participation by local suppliers and trade partners.”

In keeping with our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, Clark Builders maintains an open and constructive relationship with Inclusion Alberta. Steve says, “Inclusive job opportunities remain available, and we continue to advocate for inclusive career development in the trades. Recently, we provided Inclusion Alberta with a letter of support as they pursue changes to the AIT registration process for students with intellectual disabilities, with an inclusive registration process through MyTradeSecrets being the logical next step to remove barriers to inclusive education. We are proud of the positive impact working with Inclusion Alberta has had throughout our organization and look forward to continuing to evolve the relationship!”