Contractor grows on Campus Renewal


Contractor grows on Campus Renewal

July 2021 - Cordell Sawyer, a union-trained journeyman carpenter, is always eager to learn and grow. While working all day, took evening classes at St. Louis Community College to earn an associate’s degree in Applied Science in Skilled Trades Industrial Apprenticeship Training: Carpentry. He started Sledroc Construction Company in 2010, landing his first job at BJC in 2015 subcontracting to Tarlton Corp. on a garage job.

His work at BJC has afforded him growth and learning in ways he didn’t expect. He has participated for six years in BJC 101, a program that educates minority and women business enterprise (MBE/WBE) professional service and construction firms in the highly-regulated healthcare space. He has gained valuable knowledge and built relationships with others who have appreciated his work ethic and willingness to learn and helped him to grow along the way.

Sawyer says BJC 101 and 201 have provided a multitude of benefits. “The curriculum provided by BJC and Construction Management Partners (CMP) has a client-specific focus that is a blueprint to educate current and potential contractors and suppliers how to be responsive and successful on BJC projects. It also teaches solid business principles that can be applied to any business.”

Christopher Dean, BJC project executive for the Campus Renewal Project, appreciates how BJC 101 (now BJC 201) brings together minority and majority contractors who otherwise might never have met or considered working with one another.

“Healthcare is a specialized building industry, and not just anyone can come in and start working,” says Dean. “We’ve been fortunate to have prime contractors take some of the smaller firms under their wing, spend time with them and work side-by-side in the field and in the office.”

Kadean, the general contractor for Queeny Tower demolition, hired Sledroc for preconstruction services, work to disconnect utilities from adjoining buildings, investigative work, renovations and remodeling. Kadean also mentored Sawyer in a general contracting role, which enabled Sledroc to self-perform and manage subcontractors for the interior remodel work on two inpatient floors.  

“Sledroc have been a great partner on this challenging project and we have relied heavily on Cordell throughout,” says Todd Waalkes, Kadean project manager. “Whether it was working three shifts for interior finish remodel of patient floors, or building temporary protection during off hours and weekends to meet the needs of clinical staff, he fully embraces the demands of working on campus. We are excited to have played a role in Sledroc’s growth and seeing him grow on the project with us.”

Sawyer adds, “Working on BJC’s Campus Renewal Project has been transformative, accelerating Sledroc’s growth, recognition and opportunities. BJC and Kadean both have great teams who have always been willing to share information, answer questions and help me learn through the entire process.”

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