Building With The Community In Mind Is a Triumph For All

Wells Fargo reaches for the sky at New York’s Hudson Yards.

If the success of New York City’s 101-story, 30 Hudson Yards is any indication, the team responsible for its creation raises the bar on the impact a building’s construction can have on individuals, communities, an entire city and perhaps even the world.

“From local projects to large skyscraper projects, we are committed to holding ourselves accountable for building relationships and including diverse suppliers,” says Derek Cantey, Wells Fargo Senior Vice President and Supplier Diversity Manager. “We are also equally committed to measuring tangible progress on every project that we do.”

“From local projects to large skyscraper projects, we are committed to holding ourselves accountable for building relationships and including diverse suppliers.

Wells Fargo, an anchor owner at Hudson Yards, has long supported diversity in its workforce, its supply chain and in the communities it serves. Today, amid a pandemic and widespread protest against socioeconomic injustice, that support is especially crucial.

To achieve a great outcome, a successful project must be carefully planned, skillfully implemented and then closely guided to completion. Such was the effort and resources that Wells Fargo put into the new, 500,000-square-foot, LEED Gold-certified facility on Manhattan’s far west side. From the beginning of the project, the Wells Fargo team set a goal to have an outsized effect on the neighborhoods and surrounding communities.

Nowhere were the outcomes of the project more evident than in the financial institution’s supplier diversity efforts. “The success of this project really starts with the commitment of our senior leadership. From the leaders in our Corporate Properties Group, to the partnerships with our general contractor and our diverse suppliers, we were able to achieve more than 50% diverse utilization,” says Cantey.

There are several key drivers for success in a project like this. Paramount to all others is the ability to identify and attract the right talent. Before the first shovel of earth was turned, Wells Fargo reached out into the New York community to ensure maximum diverse supplier inclusion.

This initial process involved engaging with ten supplier business organizations, conducting three events to identify various diverse suppliers and then hosting four training sessions with suppliers to promote inclusion in the project.

“We were viewed as a subject matter expert,” says Hannibal Fleming, CEO of Argo Critical Solutions Engineering, a certified minority-owned business in New York City. “My team and I were included in a lot of the discussions and decisions that needed to be made.” The facility occupies six floors and includes the world’s most advanced trading floors.

“Egg Electric did about $45 million of electrical work, including the full infrastructure both for power and data, the four generators, and the 100,000-square-foot trading floor, and the data center,” says Egg Electric President Ellen Aschendorf, a certified woman-owned business enterprise.

Wells Fargo understands that success comes from diverse perspectives, and values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of business. A key part of the bank’s focus on diversity and inclusion is supplier diversity and the development and engagement of certified minority, women, LGBT, veteran, disabled and small businesses. Wells Fargo believes that inclusion of diverse businesses is essential to the economic strength of the communities it serves.

“Our involvement in this project gives us the recognition in the community that puts us in a different light,” says Lou Switzer, CEO, The Switzer Group, the architecture firm responsible for the facility’s interior designs. “And it will open many other doors!”

The success of the Hudson Yards project, beyond steel and glass and concrete, can be measured by its outsized impact on the people involved with it and highlights what can be accomplished when there is an intentional strategic commitment to engaging diverse suppliers and working with organizations who share Wells Fargo’s commitment.