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Developing the Next Generation of Frontline Supervisors

Objective and Questions

The primary objectives of this project are:
  1. Develop guidance and tangible practices for the development of frontline supervisors.
  2. Develop strategies and practices for retention of supervisors.

The primary question to be addressed by this research is: What does a good frontline supervisor look like today and what skills will he or she need for future work, workers, and technologies?

Some other questions to be answered include the following:
  • What will be the role of frontline supervisors considering tomorrow’s technology, work, and work environment?
  • What training programs are currently implemented for frontline supervisors?
    • What training is required beyond technical skills (e.g., people skills, expectations, human relations, contracts, and “project management 101”)?
    • What roadblocks keep companies from providing the appropriate training for frontline supervisors?
  • How can frontline supervisors maintain a close connection to the work (e.g., the physical aspects of construction work) amid an increase in technologies that puts them in a virtual world and separates them from the physical work? How can technology enable supervisors to spend more time on site performing value-adding work?
  • How can qualified frontline supervisors be recruited and retained, beyond just increasing pay (e.g., offering recognition, benefits, and career paths for advancement)?
    • How does the industry work with the cyclical nature of the work to retain a qualified supervisor?
  • How do companies identify future frontline supervisors?
    • How do companies successfully transition individuals from craft to supervisory roles?
  • How can the industry address the certification of frontline supervisors?

Expected Outcomes

The main expected outcomes of this project include:
  • The expected roles and responsibilities of frontline supervisors as the construction industry changes and technology use increases
  • Tangible practices to recruit, retain, and train effective supervisors who can help organizations be more productive while addressing craftworker issues. Specific outcomes may include:
    • Curriculum for supervisor development (considering a mix of soft and technical skills)
    • Metrics for the evaluation of supervisors’ skills or for the identification of craftworkers who can be promoted to supervisors
    • Case studies and examples that help organizations understand and replicate the recommended practices
    • Identification of promising technologies that streamline communications



Jake Speck, Kiewit Corporation

Vice Chair

Mario Panucci, Chevron


Anthony Baldwin, Bechtel Group, Inc.

Kenneth Brown, Southern Company

Michelle Campbell, Pathfinder, LLC

Kevin Dykes, ExxonMobil Corporation

Martin Fernandez, Dematic

Francesco Finamore, Technip Energies

Davis Foreman, United Engineers & Constructors, Inc.

Jamie Habron, Archer Daniels Midland Company

Dustin Heitner, Deloitte

Kyle Hill, LyondellBasell

Dusty Jones, INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA

Garvin Jones, Covestro LLC

James Lenfield, Technip Energies

San Loganathan, L&T Institute of Project Management

Chad Luker, Dematic

Nor Arinee Mat Saaud, Petronas

Tiffany McMillan, Black & Veatch

Ken Nauffts, Irving Oil Limited

Brandon Nobles, Air Products

Adama Ouattara, Consolidated Edison Company of New York

Tom Pierce, Baker Construction Enterprises

Tillman Rainer, McDermott International, Inc.

Bill Scott, Burns & McDonnell

Dan Wannamaker, Bruce Power


Timothy Becker, Arizona State University

Kristen Parrish, Arizona State University


Sulaiman Alsultan, Arizona State University

Launched 2023