Welcome to Owner Impacts, a series dedicated to showcasing innovations, solutions, and leadership driven by our employee-owners—and powered by our people-first culture.

As a 100% employee-owned company, our people take pride in not only building world-class projects for our partners, but for building community along the way. That’s particularly the case when delivering for our education-based projects and the surrounding campus and students.

At Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI, Shawmut has built an influential partnership with the School of Engineering, Computing, and Construction Management—in addition to completing various projects across campus and hiring countless graduates through our Construction Management Skills Training (CMST) program. While it’s not uncommon for RWU’s world-class SECCM curriculum to weave in real-world examples, Shawmut enhanced our partnership with the institution by offering mentorships with our field staff—providing for a truly unique learning experience. Most recently, Kate Simons—Director of Scheduling and Controls for the New England Region—took on this role, leveraging her immense experience and leadership and accompanied by two Assistant Project Managers and recent graduates of RWU. The team, who dedicated time outside their daily responsibilities, partnered with professors to mentor twenty seniors as part of their final capstone course.

Utilizing the under-construction North Hall student residence at Rhode Island School of Design, Kate and the team developed a comprehensive, real-life case study. Mentoring students along the way, Kate created weekly deliverables that took students through a typical large-scale construction process—including responding to a request for proposal and developing a schedule, budget, site-specific logistics, and safety plan. In addition to weekly coaching and student-focused feedback sessions, Kate scheduled safe walkthroughs of the site and led workshops on various subject matters—including Last Planner System, Lean Construction, logistics, and public speaking. At the conclusion of the semester, students presented their specific approaches to the project in a mock GC/client interview—providing a first-hand experience of a project initiation as it unfolds.

Through more than a decade of construction experience, Kate’s vast, hands-on knowledge of the construction process complemented by her leadership enabled a unique, one-of-a-kind mentoring experience—helping to influence the next generation of talent as they prepare to enter the workforce and revealing what is so special about our employee-owners.