Webcor's LA Trade Partner Outreach Event Educates & Fosters New Connections

One Webcorian recently strategized a new approach to trade partner outreach events to ensure mutual success.

June 23, 2022


After nearly five years of representing Webcor at trade partner outreach events throughout California and absorbing feedback from several firms, Department Support Manager Rosa Arevalo decided our approach to these events was due for some major re-evaluation.

“The post-event feedback I continued to receive was that business cards would be exchanged without any sort of follow-up or real impact,” she says. “It became clear to me that we needed to provide more information and learning opportunities for the small, local, and disadvantaged businesses attending these events.”

According to Rosa, the goal of these trade contractor outreach events is for small, local, and disadvantaged businesses to connect with Webcor and ideally form partnerships for future project pursuits. Requiring such partnerships has become increasingly common throughout NorCal and SoCal when pursuing new work, she says.

“The intent is to provide both Webcor and the trade partners the opportunity to work with each other and build long-lasting relationships,” she says. “We know how competitive the construction industry is — especially the LA market — and we as a company need to expand our trade partner database to include these smaller, minority, disadvantaged firms.”

Determined to ensure that Webcor’s future outreach events would be mutually beneficial and truly rewarding, she began reaching out to other firms about giving educational presentations on topics like insurance, bonding, and getting DBE, SBE, and LBE-certified.

“In addition to offering educational opportunities, I felt it was important that our outreach events included our Prequalification, Safety, Marketing, Sustainability, Business Development, and Precon groups so the trade partners could learn about our culture and core values directly from our amazing employees,” she says. “I wanted our events to start helping these trade partners by educating them rather than limiting the discussions to projects we’ve completed and future opportunities. These events are a great chance to not only meet new trade partners but to help them learn, grow, and enhance their businesses in a very real way.”

In April, Webcor hosted an outreach event at Wedbush Center in downtown LA (coincidentally located across from the Beaudry project site), where Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services gave a presentation on bonding, insurance, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Small Business Enterprise (DBE/SBE) certification processes in front of an audience of 50 smaller, minority, and disadvantaged businesses. The list of invited firms was generated from both Merriwether & Williams’ and Webcor’s database of subcontractors, all of which were discovered through past outreach events and online research, Rosa says.

Project Coordinator Lucia Mendez, one of the Webcorians who traveled from NorCal to LA to represent Webcor’s prequalification team at the event, says that assisting several of the trade partners with the prequalification process in person was a rare and exciting opportunity.

“Overall, I think the event was well-organized and went great,” she says. “There was a good turnout, and I got to meet quite a few trade partners. As Webcorians, it’s important for us to get involved, help expand the company’s network, and build new relationships – especially with small businesses – to support the local economy. Kudos to Rosa and her team for putting it all together!”

Sustainability Specialist Ally Chavira says she enjoyed networking with local subcontractors and discussing how their services aligned with Sustainability’s goals, especially as Webcor becomes a greener company prioritizing sustainable construction practices.

“It’s important for us to educate our subs on how they can appear more competitive in that area and to incentivize them to focus on their sustainability efforts early in the process,” she says. “I encourage more Webcorians to attend these types of outreach events because they provide an avenue for connecting with subcontractors with which we may not typically work — it’s a chance for them to get a foot in the door.

“This event had a decent turnout and was set up very professionally; I felt it represented Webcor well. Extra kudos to Rosa for all her hard work in coordination and set-up!”

Sr. Vice President Greg Chauhan agrees that these outreach events are critical to building new relationships, learning about new trade partners, supporting the AEC industry, and simply meeting others who are passionate about building.

“When the LA team asked me to attend the April event, I thought it was a great opportunity to learn more about our outreach efforts and connect with some of our trade partners,” he says. “The event successfully guided many trade companies through the prequalification process,  helped them understand Webcor’s requirements, and offered an opportunity for everyone to share their safety approaches/culture and learn from one another.”

The post-event feedback from all parties involved was overwhelmingly positive, Rosa says.

“I received so many compliments both verbally and via email about how much the trade partners truly enjoyed our outreach event and how much they felt welcomed and appreciated,” she says. “Our people are what separate Webcor from other general contractors, so having so many Webcorians participate made a huge impact.

“The feedback I received was that our event was not like the typical ones in which they’d participated in the past with other GCs; attending businesses were impressed by how many Webcorians were there to greet them and how welcoming the environment was. Relationship-building began right away — some businesses even received job opportunities after meeting members of our project teams!”

The support from the New Century Plaza, Beaudry, Silver Lake, and Hollywood Park project teams as well as from Vice President Charles Chiparo and the SoCal Precon/Estimating department (led by Chief Estimator Sam Khatibi), Executive Assistant Agueda Zarate, and Marketing Intern Emma Parkin, was much appreciated, Rosa says. “I would like to especially point out the efforts of our fellow Webcorians who flew/drove down to SoCal to participate in this event with us: Ally, Greg, Lucia, Project Manager Candace Kong Kee, Sr. Outreach & Compliance Specialist Chris Bardales, and Safety Director Mario Rodriguez.”