GMA builds more than structures; the firm helps build people who transform the communities in which its personnel live, work, and play.

Under the leadership of Cornelius Griggs, GMA serves the community by donating time, money, and expertise to numerous community service initiatives across the nation. Cornelius, having grown up in the Cabrini-Green and Austin neighborhoods, is committed to supporting organizations serving people from disadvantaged communities.


The CREATE Program

GMA established The CREATE Program in partnership with Austin College and Career Academy to support, encourage, and promote student interest in engineering careers through mentorship, educational curriculum, and real-life industry experience.


TRIO Program

Cornelius has served as the Alumni Board Chairman for Introspect Youth Services Trio Programs. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.


Technical Assistance Program with the Illinois Tollway

GMA established the Technical Assistance Program with the Illinois Tollway. Emerging businesses receive comprehensive, customized business development assistance, build financial understanding, and business knowledge to increase stability and growth in the construction industry.


Construction Management at Kennedy-King College

Cornelius Griggs serves as the Program Chair for the Associate in Applied Science in Construction Management Program at Kennedy-King College. The Associate in Applied Science degree program in Construction Management prepares students to receive the education, training, and business knowledge necessary for employment in the construction industry.


GC Services for Project H.O.O.D. Community Center

GMA served as the General Contractor on the Project Hood Community Center. Project Hood is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to empower people with the guidance, information and tools necessary to become peacemakers, problem solvers, leaders, and entrepreneurs in their communities.



The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Illinois District Office has named Cornelius Griggs the 2019 Illinois Small Business Person of the Year. Each year, the SBA honors small businesses and small business advocates across the country who are creating 21st-century jobs, driving innovation, and increasing America’s global competitiveness. Griggs graduated from SBA’s Emerging Leaders program in 2016.



Cornelius Griggs, GMA Construction Group founder and Army Commendation Medal recipient, is being recognized with the 2019 Interise Impact Award. The award recognizes alumni of the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum who have demonstrated exceptional revenue growth, job creation, and community impact. In 2016, Griggs took Interise’s SBA Emerging Leaders course in Chicago with Dr. Adam Callery, he became Mr. Griggs nominator for the Interise Impact Award.



The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce announced that the winner of the 2018 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award is Cornelius Griggs, President of GMA Construction Group. The Tyree Award is presented annually to a small business that has demonstrated growth, job creation and philanthropic values. It includes a $50,000 cash prize to fuel further business growth and civic engagement. 2018 is the 7th year of the Tyree Award.



GMA was recently awarded Metra’s 2018 Emerging DBE award in recognition of significant business growth. The award was presented during Metra’s 4th Annual On Track to Success Vendor Fair. The event recognizes and honors prime contractors, subcontractors, assist agencies, and staff members that have provided exceptional service and promote diversity and inclusion. GMA has completed several projects for Metra including the recent Headquarters Renovation.



In 2018, Cornelius Griggs was awarded the Rufus Taylor Award for the March of Dimes Construction and Transportation Awards for his commitment and yearly support of March of Dimes fundraisers and benefits. March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of moms and babies. March of Dimes focuses on fighting birth defects, premature birth and infant death with innovations like newborn screenings and surfactant therapy; education for medical professionals and the public about best practices; and lifesaving research.