'Believe, Strive, Achieve': A Mentor-Protege Success Story
Through O’Shea Builders’ mentor-protégé partnership, our team works alongside owners of minority-owned, construction-related businesses to help them position their businesses for success. Our recent partnership with Solid Ground Solutions, a minority-owned general contracting, demolition and construction cleaning company, highlights the benefits of this partnership.
O’Shea’s mentor-protégé partnership with Solid Ground Solutions started in 2019. At the time, the O’Shea Team had a longstanding relationship with William Bishop, IV, president of Solid Ground Solutions, having worked with him and his company for over ten years on dozens of projects. William was interested in expanding his business, which initially offered only cleaning services, to include demolition services. “O’Shea provided me with the expertise needed to help my business to grow from a cleaning company to an actual construction contractor for demolition,” Williams said.
Next, William expressed an interest in adding general contracting services to his service offerings. The O’Shea Team knew of a perfect opportunity to throw his hat into the ring – a renovation project at Muffley Elementary School in Decatur.
“O’Shea helped me put my bid packages together, find subcontractors to bid, and walked me through the process,” William said. As it turned out, William’s company was awarded the bid! The project, which included remodeling of the school entrance and offices at Muffley Elementary School, was completed in 2021.
Rev. Courtney Carson, a Decatur Public School District board member, said Solid Ground Solutions' involvement in the project was a victory in more ways than one. Not only is Solid Ground Solutions a minority-owned company, but it also employs a minority workforce. "Solid Ground Solutions and O'Shea Builders are working together to come up with real solutions for the disparity in minority participation in the construction industry – one person at a time, one company at a time."
Next up, William is serving on the Project Management Team for the $80 million Lanphier High School renovation and addition project for Springfield School District 186. This project has special meaning to William since he is a graduate of the high school and currently coaches the boys’ basketball team.
William said O’Shea’s mentor-protégé partnership has helped his company grow in ways he didn’t even think were possible. “There were times that I didn’t know if my company would last another week, but with the help of O’Shea Builders I can actually see me being able to possibly pass Solid Ground Solutions Inc. to my son one day!”
O’Shea Builders and Solid Ground Solutions have also partnered on the Minority Trades Network, which “cross-connects” networks of the minority community with networks of the construction industry. During the program, participants learn about the various union trades available, type of work performed by each trade (including hands-on learning), benefits packages offered by each trade, and career paths. The group meets for two hours, once a week, for twelve weeks. At the end of the program, participants typically commit to a trade union to get started on their new career path. Since the program started in 2020, 18 people have graduated from the program – 11 are actively working in their trade of choice and 7 have committed to unions.
The partnership between O'Shea Builders and Solid Ground Solutions has been mutually beneficial, said Tyler Cormeny, vice president of O'Shea Builders. "Solid Ground Solutions' mission is to 'believe, strive and achieve,' and we see those words in action every day with William and his team. This partnership has been as beneficial to the O'Shea Team as it has for the Solid Ground Solutions Team. Both of our teams share a passion for construction and for continuous improvement. We make each other better."