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 President, 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 community service initiatives and 501(c)(3) organizations that support people from disadvantaged communities.

  • The Create Program

  • Introspect Youth Services / TRIO Program

  • Construction Management Program at Kennedy King College

  • March of Dimes

  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago, Inc.

  • K.L.E.O. Community and Family Life Center

  • The Dusable Museum of African American History

  • Project H.O.O.D.




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. This 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.


exceeding participation goals

As an MBE, GMA understands the importance of ensuring opportunities for disadvantaged businesses. GMA regularly achieves more than 50% participation on projects throughout Illinois, exceeding the project requirements.



Midway Airport Concessions, Concourse A Food Court

On the Midway Airport Concessions project, GMA implemented its proven M/WBE Plan to achieve a 70% MBE subcontractor participation, far exceeding the 26% MBE goal. GMA achieved similar results with 22% subcontracted to WBEs, exceeding the 6% WBE goal.

We are the first minority owned prime contractor to achieve over 90% combined M/WBE participation on a federal aviation project in Chicago and the first African American Contractor to work in a Prime capacity on the concessions in nearly 30 years.


Community engagement