AG Healey Awards Grants to Expand Opportunity for Women, Minority Workers in the Construction Industry
BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey today announced that her office is awarding $90,000 in grant funding to organizations across the state to promote equal opportunity for women and minority workers and small business owners in the construction industry.
The Equal Opportunity in the Construction Trades Grant program is providing funding to non-profit organizations, apprenticeship programs, labor unions, and vocational schools to conduct worker training and outreach programs..
“The construction industry provides good-paying jobs for thousands of Massachusetts residents,” said AG Healey. “These grants will help diversify the industry and expand economic opportunity for women and minority residents.”
“We are pleased to see the Attorney General’s Office use this settlement in this way to support initiatives that will help promote diversity in the construction industry,” said Greg Beeman, President of the Massachusetts Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. “This funding will help woman and minorities enter an industry that offers meaningful, long-term careers and good, family-supporting wages.”
According to a 2014 report by the National Women’s Law Center, women represent nearly half of the workforce but hold only 2.6 percent of all construction jobs nationwide. There are more than 7.6 million men working in the construction industry and only 206,000 women.
“Building Pathways is pleased to be the recipient of a Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Equal Opportunity in Construction Trades Grant,” said Mark Vogel, the executive director of Building Pathways. “The funding will support our efforts to create opportunities for low-income, low-skilled Boston area residents, particularly in under-served communities, to access and prepare for building trades apprenticeships and careers in the construction industry. Through apprenticeship preparedness training, outreach to young adults, and advocacy, Building Pathways provides the critical link between greater Boston’s diverse communities and access to family-sustaining careers that empower individuals and strengthen our communities.”
“Southeastern is excited to be a grant recipient of the Equal Opportunities in Construction Trades Grant,” said Southeastern Regional Vocational-Technical High School Superintendent Luis G. Lopes. “Funds will help with activities for our ‘Non-traditional Careers Outreach Program’ which will support and enhance our continuing effort to serve students seeking non-traditional educational programs and occupations. These activities include informational sessions for middle school students and their parents, establishment of a non-traditional student and careers program for our high school students, and trips to post-secondary trade schools, technical institutes, and apprenticeship programs.
The AG’s Equal Opportunity in the Construction Trades Grant program will provide funding to the following organizations:
- Building Pathways, Inc. (Roxbury): The apprenticeship program, sponsored by the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District in partnership with the Action for Boston Community Development and the Boston Housing Authority, will conduct outreach and recruitment and provide occupational training and career coaching to low-income minority workers in the Greater Boston Area.
- Community Labor/United Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity (Boston): The nonprofit organization will hire a “pipeline navigator” to coordinate outreach for information sessions and workshops geared toward assisting workers seeking apprenticeship programs and construction jobs.
- Southeastern Regional Vocational-Technical School District (South Easton): The vocational school district will create an outreach program that will include an open house for parents and students, field trips to construction job sites for students, and participation in the Girls in Trades and SKillsUSA conferences.
- Worcester Roots (Worcester): The nonprofit organization will reach out to formerly incarcerated individuals and minority workers about jobs in the construction industry. The organization will also create a construction and trade opportunities grant resource guide and hold trainings for union officials and chambers of commerce on best practices for engaging with underrepresented communities in the workforce.
- YouthBuild Boston (Boston): The nonprofit organization will expand its 12-week pre-apprenticeship program and focus its outreach efforts on focus on female and minority workers in Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester.
- Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School (Fall River): The vocational school district will train HVAC and electricity students in its Build Your Future Program, which targets women and minority students.
- YWCA of Western Massachusetts (Springfield): The organization will enroll 28 women in construction skills training.
The grant program utilizes funds from a settlement the AG’s Office reached with construction companies over allegations of falsely certifying compliance with equal opportunity requirements.
This is one-year grant program that will run through May 31, 2018.