Envision Equity. South Coast Improvement Company Embraces Women in Construction Week

Mar 7, 2022 | News

South Coast Improvement Company (SCIC), a design-build general contractor serving New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, announced its full support for the upcoming National Women in Construction Week (NAWIC) and its Envision Equity theme. The annual recognition event held by The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)takes place this year during the week of March 6-12.

“Our company currently holds a book of business in the $80m range. That accomplishment came as a direct result of the work and talents of the women and men here at South Coast,” said Henry Quinlan, president of South Coast Improvement Company. “The number of women in our ranks has grown each year, with many holding key management and administrative roles. I could honestly see a woman taking my place someday.”

South Coast Improvement initiated an apprentice program a few years ago to groom young construction professionals. Two fairly recent hires, Taylor Chianese, an assistant project manager, and Taylor Grant, a construction cost estimator, are part of that program.

Chianese had worked for a short time at a large construction firm. She came to South Coast to continue for it’s program and it’s small, family-oriented feel.

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“South Coast puts an emphasis on learning and training. You have access to everybody at the firm to ask questions—from your peers in the training program to Henry, the president of the company,” said Chianese. “Through the program, I was able to elevate from a pre-con assistant project manager to my current position as an assistant field project manager. My goal is to be a project manager.”

Chianese told her friend Taylor Grant about the program. She applied and was accepted. Started out as an estimating assistant, Grant was recently promoted to estimating coordinator.

“This is literally on-the-job training as I knew nothing about estimating. Yet with the program, I was able to learn and grow to the point where I was promoted,” said Grant. “I didn’t think of construction as a career when I graduated ca when I started. Now, I see a real future with plenty of room for growth.”

Adds Quinlan, “What’s great about having young professionals like Taylor and Taylor in this program is that they don’t have to look too far in our company to find a role model/mentor. Melissa Cheslock is a great example for all our young construction professionals.”

A 15-year construction veteran, Cheslock is the project manager on South Coast Improvement’s conversion of a former assisted living development into a 55-and-over rental housing development with affordable housing in Brewster, MA. Serenity Brewster, located at 873 Harwich Road (Route 124), is being developed by the Elevation Financial Group of Orlando, Florida.

“We took over this affordable housing project from the developer in the first quarter of 2021. With the 40B portion of the project, we knew there would be some challenges. Fortunately, Melissa had had some dealings with the local officials in Brewster at her previous job and had a relationship with them,” said Quinlan. “By inviting them out to the site prior to completion, we had a very good understanding of what needed to be done for approval. This particular construction professional—who also happens to be a woman—made the difference in Phase 1 of this project being completed successfully.”

South Coast Improvement subsequently won the second phase of the Serenity Brewster project, which involves the completion of the remainder of the 132 units planned for Serenity Brewster. Twenty percent of those units will be deed-restricted or 40B–double the required 10.

For more information on the Women in Construction Week, visit NAWIC’s website at https://www.nawic.org

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