Boston – NEI General Contracting announced that Andre Barbour, diversity and inclusion director, has been selected as one of the Boston Business Journal’s (BBJ) 2022 40 Under 40 honorees. Barbour was recognized at an awards gala on Oct. 20 at the Boston Park Plaza in Boston.
Barbour is the face of and driving force behind NEI’s workforce diversity and inclusion initiatives. His goal is to maximize the participation of local, emerging women- and minority-owned construction firms on all NEI projects, as well as create an expanded recruitment and workforce development drive to hire workers from the communities where projects are located.
Barbour’s efforts to promote equitable workforce utilization in construction has resulted in hundreds of people from local communities being employed on construction projects over the past five years. Since he joined NEI, the company has constructed over $400 million in affordable housing in the city of Boston. With Barbour’s dedication and commitment to equity and inclusion, over $170 million (43%) has gone to minority-owned businesses and over $50 million (13%) has gone to women-owned businesses.
One of Barbour’s accomplishments, done under the auspices of NEI, is the development and launch of the Workforce Opportunity Resource Center (WORC²), which opened in 2021, at 2103 Washington Street in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. Designed to engage minority-owned subcontractors and the local workforce, WORC² offers free “one-stop shopping” resources and technical support to promote worker development, business capacity building, and growth in the local construction community.
“The ability to foster new and established relationships to create access and opportunities for diverse businesses and workers in the construction industry motivates me every day,” said Barbour. “Community engagement and relationships are an important part of my role. Building long term relationships with diverse businesses and workers is essential to building a more equitable industry.”