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The Partner Elevation Pledge: Our commitment to uplifting the capital construction industry

It’s time to face the facts: the capital construction industry has a risk problem.

Every year in the U.S., there are roughly 150,000 injuries on job sites, and over 5,000 construction workers lose their lives.

96% of construction businesses fail before they reach ten years of age. This is the highest failure rate of any industry.

And small business fares even worse: injury rates among firms with 11 to 49 employees are 5 times the rate for those with over 1,000 employees.

The old ways of quantifying and assessing risk just haven’t made construction safer nor financially stable.

Take traditional contractor prequalificiation; it provides a static assessment of each contractor’s safety and financial risks based on lagging indicators. This gives owners and builders a false sense of security becuase it overly relies on looking in the rear-view mirror.

Highwire’s Partner Elevation Pledge

Partner Elevation presents an alternative approach: meet contracting partners wherever they are on their journey to delivering better work. Help them build a safer and more enduring business by collaborating with them to dynamically mitigate risk together with their hiring partners.

For owners and builders, this means a shift in mindset: from qualifying contractors to elevating partners.

In March, we launched the Partner Elevation Pledge, a commitment to participating in the activities that drive successful Partner Elevation. This means:

  • Adopting the Partner Elevation mindset.

  • Being a safety mentor, not just a safety cop.

  • Treating every contractor like a strategic partner.

  • Not just setting the bar, but helping partners clear it.
  • Prioritizing safety first because the rest will follow.
  • Developing and expanding the ecosystem of partners.

Partner Elevation in action

Two hiring partners that have taken the Pledge and continually elevate their contracting partners are H. J. Russell & Company (Russell) and Rosendin Electric.

Russell, the nation’s leading minority-owned construction firm, has built a sterling reputation for honesty and integrity throughout its 60 years of experience.

Rosendin Electric, the nation’s largest employee-owned electrical contractor, promotes and Injury, Incident and Impact Free (I-3 Free) environment on every project.

Both Russell and Rosendin have launched philanthropic organizations to elevate their communities as well. 

Russell CARES is the philanthropic arm of H. J. Russell & Company (Russell).

“When our founder, Herman J. Russell, started the company, one of his desires was to economically empower his community,” said Paul Bryant, Russell’s Vice President of External Affairs. “For years, Mr. Russell, as well as his family, did just that, but it was not widely known. It wasn’t until a few years ago that H. J. Russell & Company’s philanthropic efforts were officially established under Russell CARES. As our official corporate social responsibility program, Russell CARES is the manifestation of the Russell family’s commitment to community service. It’s not something we do, it’s who we are.”

The Rosendin Foundation is a philanthropic venture from Rosendin Holdings. The foundation was established to positively impact communities, build and empower people, and inspire innovation by partnering with community-focused, non-profit organizations in 17-regions across the U.S. to support health including emotional, nutritional, and occupational programs.

“Highwire has been a fantastic partner for Rosendin over the years. As the Supplier/Subcontractor Program Supervisor I’ve worked hand-in-hand with them while developing our subcontractor program, which is now a cornerstone of our project operations procedure,” said Joan Bremer, Chairperson for the Grant Making Committee for The Rosendin Foundation.

To celebrate these innovative hiring partners, we have donated $5,000 each to Russell CARES and The Rosendin Foundation. It’s just one way for Highwire to elevate our partners’ work.

“I am beyond thrilled they [Highwire] looked to our organization for their philanthropic giving,” continued Bremer. “I also strongly believe The Partner Elevation Pledge will help with Rosendin’s goals of building quality with our many trade partners, along with building people in our communities.”

Partner Elevation is the future for innovative owners and builders; are you ready to take the Pledge and begin creating safer, more financially viable partners and projects?

The Partner Elevation Framework

Ready to get started? Check out our Practitioner’s Guide to Partner Elevation to explore the step-by-step process to reduce risk used by the most successful builders and operators.


David Tibbetts

David Tibbetts is the Chief Safety Officer at Highwire. Prior to joining Highwire David managed the Construction Safety Program at Harvard University overseeing the implementation of the University's Construction EH&S Standard, Substance Abuse Prevention Program, and use of Highwire's Contractor Safety Assessment Program.

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