Construction Begins on the new Student Wellness Center at the University of Chicago

Photo by Brittany Harthan

Construction has started on the new Student Wellness Center at the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus. Scheduled for completion in fall 2020, the new center will create a single, integrated facility for the university’s student health, counseling and wellness resources.

GMA along with partner Wight are working with an aggressive timeline, they will complete the first phase of the project by spring 2020.

“We’re updating a historic building to enable the University of Chicago to meet the comprehensive health and wellness needs of students, and we are doing so in a way that is deeply respectful of the original architecture and seamless in its integration of past and present,” said Kevin Havens, executive vice president, director of design at Wight & Company.

Read the entire article on RE Journals website


GMA PROMOTION: Kevin Meagher promoted to Assistant Project Manager

Photo by Brittany Harthan

Kevin’s journey to APM started in 2016 when he left his position as Executive Chef at the University of Chicago to attend Kennedy King College/Dawson Technical Institute in pursuit of a degree in Construction Management. Kevin’s professor, Cornelius Griggs, further inspired his interest in construction and subsequently hired him as an intern and then a full-time Project Engineer at GMA.

Since joining GMA, Kevin has worked on many projects including the recently completed C4 Office Renovation project for IFF. His achievements at GMA come with high praise for his hard work, dedication and the ability to learn on the job.

“I am truly grateful for my time here at GMA and all the great people I am surrounded with and look forward to many years of success. It goes to show that it doesn’t matter what you did before or how old you are, if you put your head down, work hard and stay dedicated anyone can be successful in what they do.”


Cornelius Griggs named Small Business Administration – Illinois Person of the Year

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The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Illinois District Office has named Cornelius Griggs, owner of Chicago’s GMA Construction Group, 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. Assistance from the SBA has helped GMA thrive. Two SBA-guaranteed loans in 2016 and 2017 allowed the company to upgrade software and office space, hire project-specific personnel, and invest in training resources to comply with industry standards. Griggs also graduated from SBA’s Emerging Leaders program in 2016, dedicating seven months to developing a strategic growth plan for his business.

Read the entire article on SBA’s website


Cornelius Griggs named Winner of Interise’s 2019 Impact Award

Photo by Brittany Harthan

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, owner of Sagesse Lumiere Small Business Coaching and Griggs’ nominator for the Interise Impact Award. He credits the experience for positioning him to think strategically about the growth of his business, and empowering him to “step out of [his] comfort zone and push the envelope of GMA.”

Watch the entire video on American Business Television’s website


NEW PROJECT AWARD: Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership - Chatham Facility

Photo by Brittany Harthan

This project includes the fit-out of a vacant building to create a full-service satellite workforce center. The workforce center will include multiple partners including state agencies, community-based organizations and other direct service providers. Centers are hubs of activity for job seekers and businesses alike and address the full spectrum of workforce needs for both. Services may include: hiring events, job screening and placement, individualized career planning/coaching, digital literacy training/certification, financial literacy, resume creation and review, interviewing skills and occupational training. Centers typically contain classrooms, private and semi-private offices, computer labs, and resource rooms. Most of that will be housed primarily in the existing configuration on the second floor.

In addition to the traditional workforce center offerings, CCWP has identified a number of potential training programs that will also co-locate at the site. Among these are: Retail, IT, and construction initiatives. In 2016, CCWP was awarded a grant from the Walmart Foundation to create retail sector training centers focused on the skills development of entry-level and incumbent workers.


NEW PROJECT AWARD: Lawndale Christian Legal Center MAC House

Photo by Brittany Harthan

GMA Construction Group, along with our partner Wight Construction, is excited to announce the award of the Lawndale Christian Legal Center’s (LCLC) newest campus located in the Lawndale community. The two-story, 28,000 SF facility will include housing for underserved African American male youth who are facing financial and legal hardships before and after incarceration. The facility will also include more than 15,000 SF of new office space for current LCLC staff including attorneys, counselors, and advisors responsible for progressing LCLC’s community-based mission.

GMA President, and former Lawndale resident, Cornelius Griggs stated, “Young men who grow up on the City of Chicago’s South and West Sides face a unique challenge of being underrepresented in the legal system. LCLC is working to change that paradigm by giving these young men a second chance. I was once a young man growing up in the Lawndale community exposed to some of the downsides. I was also blessed to be able to harness my ambition to steer myself in a positive direction.”

GMA is excited to be part of this historic and impactful project. Our mission of “developing people who will transform communities” continues to guide the projects we pursue each day.


27th Annual Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s Daniel H. Burnham Award Dinner

Photo by Brittany Harthan

Photo by Brittany Harthan

GMA President, Cornelius Griggs, had the distinct pleasure of giving remarks at the 27th Annual Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s Daniel Burnham Dinner. The dinner celebrates outstanding business and civic leaders. This year’s honoree was Christopher M. Crane, President and CEO of Exelon Corporation. GMA was featured in Chicago Magazine for its participation in the event.

Read the full story and see the photos from the 2018 Burnham Award Dinner from Chicago Magazine


NEW PROJECT AWARD: Chicago Police and Fire Training Academy

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GMA Construction Group in a Joint Venture with Bowa Construction, Berglund Construction and AECOM-Hunt is excited to announce that we have been selected to build the new $85M Police and Fire training academy on the far westside of Chicago. Cornelius Griggs, GMA’s Founder and President, was recently quoted stating “A community that has long been underserved will now see a revitalization that will spawn new businesses and positively impact community residents. As a once long time resident of the neighboring 28th and 27th wards, I am excited to see revitalization impacting all Chicago Communities.” GMA Construction Group is excited to be a part of this great project that will surely impact the community in a positive way!"


GMA wins Metra’s 2018 Emerging DBE Award!

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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 is honored to receive the award and looks forward to our continued partnership with Metra and fulfilling our mission to transform the communities in which we work.


GMA Construction Group wins the James Tyree Award!

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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.

Read the announcement from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Read the story from ABC 7 Chicago


GMA Technical Assistance Program launches its emerging businesses Boot Camp "Digging Deep"

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The GMA Technical Assistance Program launched its emerging businesses Boot Camp "Digging Deep" on February 20. This highly specialized cohort takes an intricate look at several construction processes delivered by team lead, Cornelius Griggs.

Cornelius shares important strategies and tactics learned from his more than 15 years in the business operating as a GC and sub. Each cohort runs four-weeks and is only open to clients of the GMA Technical Assistance Program. The boot camp engages small groups so that each participant can personally benefit from his hands on guidance and insights