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Promoting inclusion in Greater Cleveland construction projects

The Construction Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) initiative of the Commission on Economic Inclusion reports progress and activity on three fronts in its efforts to increase the use of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Female Business Enterprises (FBEs) firms in Greater Cleveland’s major construction projects.

Collaborative efforts are addressing challenges or producing results in workforce readiness, local hiring, and owners outreach and reporting.

Workforce readiness: Results from the CDI’s demand study completed in September 2014 found that while there are significant long-term job opportunities on Northeast Ohio construction projects, there is also a workforce gap that is creating a challenge to fill those jobs. Actions include:
  • The CDI effort has established a registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training (PAT) program with the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council (OSAC) which maximizes the opportunity to connect local diverse candidates – both women and minorities – into the construction and building trades.
  •  The Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Towards Employment and El Barrio/The Centers have served as community partners in the PAT effort. Each organization identifies prospective PAT candidates, brings those candidates through a soft skills program to prepare them for the eight week classroom and “hands-on” technical skills training experience, which is held at the Cuyahoga Community College Advanced Technology Training Center.

    Class 5 of the PAT program concluded July 17. To date, 39 students have successfully completed the PAT program with 27 students initially placed into the trades and 10 employed elsewhere.
  • The Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC) has been an active partner in the PAT process. Through a partnership announced in March, the CBCTC is creating career pathways with students at the New Max Hayes School
Owners outreach and reporting: The CDI is currently tracking over $1.5 billion in construction activity in Northeast Ohio. All Project Owners who signed the Community Benefits’ Memorandum of Understanding and/or the Owners’ Endorsement, continue to actively participate in the CDI Owners Outreach and Data Reporting Subcommittee. Actions include:
  • Project Owners and their representatives also participate in quarterly meetings of the Owners Outreach group where discussion of best practices, communication strategies and reporting are fully engaged.
Local hiring: The Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Commission on Economic Inclusion joined the City of Cleveland in opposing HB 180 and SB 152 in the Ohio legislature that would eliminate local government’s ability to ensure that construction projects in the region benefit the local workforce. Other actions include:
  • The GCP and the Commission provided testimony in opposition to the bills. Member companies and organizations have also signed a letter urging members of the General Assembly to oppose HB 180 and SB 152.
  • The CDI continues to work closely with the GCP Government Advocacy team and will provide updates on these efforts.