Grow Our Own

We believe that diversity of thought and background contributes to our success as a company.

Students gather around and study an engineering project.

As part of the Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program, we partner with the city of Springfield and Sangamon County to educate and ultimately employ minority youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The program was developed in 2013 to address a need for more participation in the Springfield Rail Improvements Project by local minority and disadvantaged business owners. Hanson and other program sponsors realized that mentoring and investing in Springfield’s minority talent would enrich the community and bolster its future.

Participants in Grow Our Own range from middle-school students to college scholars and are recruited through area schools, minority-based organizations and individual referrals. Students are invited to special company events, engineering camps and internships offered by a range of community partners.

The Grow our Own logo

A fall workshop for schools and minority organizations is typically held each October, with the deadline for student referral forms in November, screening and interviews in December and January and student placement and application assistance in February. Programs and activities occur from March through August. We also offer STL Next Gen, an extension of the Minority Participation Program, at our St. Louis regional office.

For more information about participating in or becoming a community partner for Grow Our Own, call Kevin Seals at (217) 747-9222, email or visit Click here to fill out a referral form for a student interested in participating, and click here to become a community partner. Completed forms may be emailed to