Each year for the past three decades, Interstates has earned the prestigious Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) credential from Washington, D.C.- based Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). In 2023, as ABC celebrates the 30th anniversary of this program, Interstates has been recognized among an elite group of contractors that have achieved the credential at least 25 times. Interstates, one of only 11 organizations to have earned the designation for the program’s entirety, is proud to consistently exemplify our commitment to the program’s five focus areas: quality, safety, talent management, craft and management education, and community relations.
While it is always nice to be recognized for hard work, Interstates’ AQC designation has a meaningful impact beyond our company. The credential is a testament to the consistent, quality solutions we have provided our clients for decades. Going further, our proven dedication to safety, inclusion, and community involvement has allowed us to positively change lives and give back to the people who matter most to us.
Dave Crumrine, President at Interstates, says, “This recognition shows our investment in being a quality-oriented and progressive contractor for 30 years. Our clients, people, and communities are the foundation upon which our business is built.”
To qualify for the program, ABC members must have received quality-based recognition within the past five years, which can include project-based awards. Over the past 30 years, Interstates has received numerous state and national ABC Excellence in Construction Awards.
Crumrine says, “The AQC program allows us to audit our performance and prove to our clients and people that we continue to invest to be among the best. We like it when people take a close look at what we do, because it allows us to shine.”
ABC members seeking AQC qualification must prove their dedication to safety by achieving the Gold, Platinum, or Diamond level of ABC’s STEP Safety Management System. According to ABC, “The STEP program dramatically improves safety performance among construction industry participants, with top performers achieving incident rates more than six times safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average.” Interstates has been the recipient of the STEP Diamond designation since 2017.
The AQC program values employee benefits, equal employment opportunity, inclusion, diversity, equity, and harassment-free workplaces. Danielle Crough, Vice President of People and Culture at Interstates, says, “Our long involvement in this program is a clear promise to invest in our people. The pride in our work and how we treat our team members show a lot of integrity.” From providing career coaches to offering resources to improve mental health, Interstates values its people and wants them to thrive within their jobs and communities.
Craft and Management Education
Interstates has yearly training programs for craft and management alike, says Crough, “Our investment in education and training is extensive and has been occurring for a long time. Every year we have Field Leader Excellence training for foremen, superintendents, and crew leaders on topics from leadership development to technical education. We will have 252 leaders go through that program this year alone. We also run a successful Excellence in Leadership program and provide virtual training throughout the year.”
She adds that education is evolving at Interstates as the workforce becomes more diversified. “We are now offering to teach Spanish to our primary English speakers and English to our primary Spanish speakers. Adapting and adding new components to our education programs is important as the talent landscape changes,” says Crough.
Interstates’ community involvement is far-reaching. With team members sitting on local charity boards, volunteering time with different organizations, and participating in blood drives and highway clean-ups, our team members are busy lending a helping hand.
“We recently formalized our volunteering efforts in a program called Engage,” says Crough, “where we can facilitate Interstates team members giving back to their communities. This can mean serving the community food bank, running a toy drive, or donating school supplies.” In addition, to Engage, Interstates’ Cash for Causes program benefits local, employee-chosen non-profits. The Interstates Foundation also partners with several area colleges, universities, and tech/trade schools by providing annual scholarships for students.
In an announcement celebrating the program’s 30th anniversary and recognizing the top AQC contractors, Michael Bellaman, ABC President and CEO, says, “Accredited Quality Contractors exemplify top-performing contractors by setting the standard in the contracting community for safety, culture, workforce development, innovation, diversity, and quality. Every day, these member companies’ leaders and employees commit to the highest level of corporate and community achievement, embodying the best of ABC’s membership.”
Dave Crumrine sums up what Interstates’ 30-year run as an AQC-credentialed company means for our clients: “It means they can rely on us. Every time.”
This blog was originally published in the Current Connections Summer 2023 issue.