Diana Fraire, Project Engineer, has been with C.W. Driver Companies for a year and a half. She started her career with us as an Intern and has since been hired full-time as a Project Engineer.
How did you find out about C.W. Driver Companies and what made you want to intern with us?
I was first introduced to C.W. Driver during one of my construction management classes at CSU Dominguez Hills. Our professor, Jay Jefferson, held lectures where representatives from the construction industry presented on their companies. C.W. Driver stood out to me because their mantra was “Building better communities and lives together.” It is very important to me to give back and make a difference in my community. I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of women who worked at C.W. Driver. I initially felt intimidated as a female entering the construction industry. My dad worked in the construction industry his whole life, and I always thought of it as a man’s field. Learning about C.W. Driver’s core values and overall mission made me feel welcomed into the industry. A few months later when I heard that C.W. Driver was looking for interns, I knew I had to apply! I started with C.W. Driver as an intern back in December of 2017 and in August of 2018, I was offered a full-time position.
What makes you excited to come to work every day?
I enjoy coming to work every day because of the people and my interactions with the project team. I joined the company with little industry experience. I was supported and welcomed from the moment I stepped on site. I was not judged because everyone understands we all started at the same level. At C.W. Driver, you are not just a number. The culture here is not cut-throat, and everyone is supportive of my growth. By the end of the day, I am always surprised how quickly the day went. I never want to go home because I genuinely enjoy what I do and the people I get to work with. I feel incredibly fortunate to have my first professional construction career with C.W. Driver.
Who are your mentors and what have you learned from them?
Every employee I have met at C.W. Driver is an encyclopedia of information. Megan Morrissey, Assistant Project Manager, has taught me the skills to become the best Project Engineer I can be. She recognizes my strengths and weaknesses and helps me grow. Megan supports me both professionally and personally. Rich Sadowski, Senior Superintendent, has shown me the importance of a work-life balance. He has noticed how eager I am to learn and how I struggle to leave the trailer at the end of the day. No matter how busy you are, there will always be time tomorrow. Tom Jones, Project Executive, has opened my eyes to the importance of learning more than just how to build a building. Construction is all about creating relationships with the project owners down to our trade partners. He has inspired me to reach for the stars and aspire to become a Project Executive one day too. By biggest piece of advice for anyone just joining the industry is to take in everyone’s knowledge. You will learn so much by talking to and meeting as many people as you can.
You are currently working on the the CSU Dominguez Hills – Center for Science and Innovation project. What is the safety culture like on this project?
C.W. Driver makes it a priority to create a positive safety culture on site. The project team promotes and evaluates safety performance rather than dictating safety standards. For example, when a subcontractor or foreman continuously exhibits positive safety behaviors, the team gifts them a raffle ticket. At the end of every month, we meet for an All Hands Safety Meeting to discuss issues and solutions surrounding safety. At the end of the meeting, we hold a raffle for gift cards, VIP parking spots, and other prizes. By doing so, our team tries to empower and inspire a safety culture the whole project team can get behind. Greg Patrick, Field Safety Manager, has been instrumental in our safety success on the CSUDH jobsite. He makes it a point to educate the entire team, not just a few employees. We are proud that in 2018, the project team was awarded the Cal OSHA Golden Gate Partnership Award for exemplary safety on site.
What technologies do you use on the jobsite?
The project team utilizes a variety of construction technologies. A few of our stand-out programs include Safety Mojo and the Plan Table Hub. Safety Mojo is an electronic-based safety observation program that C.W. Driver project teams utilize to quickly and effectively communicate incidents, record site observations, and conduct regular safety inspections. Every C.W. Driver team member at the CSUDH jobsite is required to input two safety observations a week into Safety Mojo. The project team reviews this data at monthly safety meetings and helps evaluate overall site safety. The Plan Table Hub (PTH) is a simple hyperlinked dashboard that allows easy access the latest set of digital plans, specifications, RFI’s, Submittals, Daily Reports, etc. All subcontractors and clients can access, view, and print files from the PTH workstation set up in the jobsite trailer, and it is also accessible remotely via iPad or smart phone from virtually anywhere. The CSUDH project team has not only utilized this technology during construction, but also plans to create a PTH specifically for close-out. Long gone are the days of endlessly clicking through files to find what you need. This dashboard was created by C.W. Driver and is exclusive to our firm.