Women in Construction
For more than half a century, J.S. Vig Construction has carved out a position as a construction industry leader by offering a rare blend of attentive, high-touch service and expert design and build, general contractor and construction management services.
To J.S. Vig’s leadership team, one of the most important and impactful of those achievements is the company’s certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) member, which J.S. Vig has held since 2010.
As a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), J.S. Vig has been a leader not just in Michigan, but nationally in giving both voice and meaningful opportunities to aspiring and established women in construction.
A legacy of leadership
When company founder Joseph S. Vig founded J.S. Vig Construction in 1965, he envisioned an organization built on a bottom line measured not in dollars and cents, but in people and relationships.
That people-powered spirit of inclusion and connectivity drives the company today, where President Valerie Vig has worked hard to embrace and expand her father’s legacy—and to ensure that women continue to play a central role in defining the company’s arc of success.
Valerie Vig’s own story clearly demonstrates both the potential for women in construction and the hurdles that so many women have to overcome to realize that potential. When she graduated from college in 1984, virtually no women were active in construction management and skilled trades. Over the course of her 35-year career in construction, Valerie has seen a shift in what has historically been a male-dominated industry, but there is still work to be done. Valerie’s ability to advance and prosper is a testament to the unwavering institutional support from within the company, and to her own work ethic, hands-on leadership style and willingness to get her boots dirty.
Her work is respected, not just within the company, but across the industry. Which is one of the reasons why Valerie Vig and J.S. Vig Construction’s initiatives to expose young Michigan women to opportunities in construction—and to lessen the structural challenges for future generations of woman in construction—are resonating.
The company is actively working to form partnerships with organizations from different industries—including industrial, banking/finance, corporate services, tech and biotech, healthcare, and hospitality—to translate its aspirations into impactful opportunities for women in construction.
Seizing the moment
J.S. Vig Construction’s enthusiastic and unapologetic support of women in construction is a welcome voice
of advocacy at a time when few general contractors are a WBE, and fewer still trades are woman- or minority-owned.
The lack of diversity in the industry is a liability, particularly at a time when the talents of skilled and experienced construction professionals are in such high demand, and a growing skilled trades gap means that companies can ill-afford to overlook promising candidates.
J.S. Vig’s work in this space reflects both an appetite for much-needed industry-wide improvement. The firm’s support of women in construction has opened doors to rewarding opportunities over the years and has led to positive and productive working relationships that have lasted for decades.
A new generation of female leadership
J.S. Vig continues to build—not just today, but for a bright and increasingly diverse and dynamic future for the company and the construction industry. The firm’s robust internship program, one of the clearest expressions of its strong culture of identifying and recognizing talent and promoting from within.
Teaching. Training. Elevating. It’s what J.S. Vig has always done so well. Vig mentors several young professionals annually, working with partner organizations to identify construction career opportunities in project management and in the trades, and to disseminate that information to high schools, colleges, universities and trade schools.
Valerie Vig and her team have put dozens of young women in work boots. And J.S. Vig not only fosters an environment of learning internally, but externally, as well, working with women- and minority-owned contractors and industry partners to help them apply for and achieve WBE status. The result is a strong, expanding and connected community of companies built and led by women.
Principles in practice
J.S. Vig values its identity as “a principles-based construction company.” And that is much more than just a marketing slogan: it’s a reflection of deeply ingrained policies and practices that have defined the organization from its inception. The J.S. Vig team is made up of 30% women: from the board room to the job site, from presidents to project engineers and estimators, and everything in-between.
The company’s disciplined approach to developing and adhering to operational processes is part of their recipe for success. Additionally, staying true to the core values of integrity, quality, safety and customer satisfaction, and maintaining consistent leadership visibility on job sites are what have and will continue to matter to J.S. Vig and the companies that partner with them.
At J.S. Vig, building a foundation on what matters most has long been not just a point of pride, but a principled pillar of how to run a business. J.S. Vig Construction understands what matters—and is working hard to help the industry take an important step forward.