Sandra Wilkin Builds Reputation as a ‘Game Changer’ in Construction Industry
With limited professional options open to a young woman in the ’70s, Sandra Wilkin trained as a nurse. No one expected her career choice to lead to the creation of one of the leading women-owned construction firms in New York, Bradford Construction Corporation.
Wilkin’s job as a nurse placed her in the right place at the right time: a medical facility undergoing a modernization project. The job of liaising with the contractors accidentally fell in her lap. Breaking out of her stereotypical “girl’s” role, she studied Business & Public Administration and Construction Management at NYU, and eventually entered the field of Construction Management (CM), founding Bradford in 1989.
Wilkin quickly earned a reputation for putting troubled projects back on track and completing quality construction services for the public and private sector. The award-winning company has worked on numerous significant academic, medical research and technological facilities for New York State and City agencies and authorities.
Bradford has also supervised and provided technical assistance for projects in Miami and Philadelphia.
Today, Bradford is a full-service, performance-based company that provides not only construction management services, but also diversity consulting and technological assistance. Under Wilkin’s guidance, Bradford Construction has become an epicenter of mentoring services for small and Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) seeking to launch or grow companies in the construction industry. Wilkin also co-founded and is the president emeritus of the Women Builders Council, a coalition of women in construction collaborating to break the “concrete ceiling” for women
in the industry.
Bradford is an ardent promoter of the use of new technologies. Through Bradford Technologies, a strategic alliance partnership with Verizon and Theometrics, Wilkin champions the use of new technologies for small businesses, teaching them to use technology to make their companies more efficient and mobile. “Building Information Modeling (BIM), digital navigation and mobile devices are excellent examples of technological innovations for the construction industry. Rather than being a wedge separating contractors from opportunities, technology is now the lynchpin by which M/WBEs can be more competitive,” says Wilkin. “New technologies level the playing field.”
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