Featured Green

Academy Connects Minority-owned Businesses to Opportunities

Boston – Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC), a national non-profit organization working to advance the expansion of environmental sustainability through local development projects while also ensuring equity and inclusion, recently launched its nine-week contractor academy in Boston.

The Emerald Cities – Boston Contractor Academy bridges the goal of promoting sustainability with cultivating business connections for historically underrepresented contracting firms owned by people of color and women.

The construction industry has long recognized the importance of addressing environmental challenges and has evolved to incorporate innovative design strategies to meet the demand for high-performance public and private renewable energy projects. Even in the face of delays and challenges brought forth by the pandemic, renewable sectors such as solar energy have continued to experience growth. The work of ECC serves to make the connection and meet the need for small businesses by helping Boston contractors grow their companies, learn and collaborate, develop key business insights, and eventually connect them to project opportunities in the area.

The free online course covers a wide range of topics from exploring growth strategies in existing and emerging markets to applicable information that will assist in preparing and winning bids. According to Darryl Wright, who serves as director of the Boston chapter, “Ultimately, we want to send the message to contractors that they don’t have to go it alone. Our program fosters mentorship with established and successful firms in the industry who have the experience to offer guidance on creative ways to grow.”

At the conclusion of nine weeks in the academy, follow-up and advocacy remain a key element of support offered through the program to ensure contractors get connected to work. Of the contractors who have gone through the program, more than half are connected to viable construction project opportunities.

ECC’s partnership with local organizations and electrical subcontractors such as Wayne J. Griffin Electric, Inc. bolster those efforts by offering a pipeline of opportunity and potential to establish long-term successful relationships.

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