IBEW 103 and NECA launch DEI Program to increase women & minority-owned electrical contractor firms

July 23, 2021 - Construction Design & Engineering

Boston, MA Aiming to tackle historical inequities in the construction industry, IBEW Local 103 & NECA Greater Boston contractors have launched a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Empower DEI Program initiative to proactively increase the number of minority and women-owned union contractor businesses in Greater Boston.

The Empower DEI Program combines an advanced training program with mentoring, resources and support for experienced, licensed minority-owned and women-owned NECA contractors and IBEW Local 103 electricians seeking to open their own businesses. Participants will have access to experienced industry leaders and business support designed to ensure their success.

The program will serve current and aspiring Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) electrical contractors in the union construction industry. Eligible candidates will include those who hope to start their own companies and are committed to maintaining area employment standards as well as existing MBE/WBE companies looking to grow and expand their business.

As the focus on equity in the construction industry increases, the demand for more minority-owned and women-owned businesses continues to grow. The program hopes to spark innovation and entrepreneurial success among groups of workers who historically have been locked out of opportunities.

“This is an exciting, necessary initiative to empower communities who have been underrepresented in business ownership. A labor-management partnership is the right approach to increase the number of woman and minority-owned contractors in Boston,” said City of Boston Mayor Kim Janey. “Women and people of color have made this great City what it is. The IBEW 103 & NECA Empower DEI Program creates a pathway to uplift this work and strengthen our communities.”

In December, the National Electrical Contractors Association joined a growing number of organizations in naming a DEI task force to drive a long-term cultural shift in the electrical industry by fostering a more inclusive environment through education, awareness, and open dialogue. The Program will include DEI-focused trainings, digital resources, webinars, surveys, online classes, and other measures. The Empower DEI Program is a core component of the effort to dismantle structural racism and sexism within the construction industry and beyond.

The inaugural class of the Empower DEI Program will include KB-MAC, Inc., a newly formed company founded by current IBEW 103 Business Agent Kenell Broomstein, in partnership with industry leader and NECA member Sullivan & McLaughlin Companies, Inc.

The project is led by a diverse board of experts that will provide access, mentorship, connections, training, and business growth opportunities to qualified participants, including:

  • Paul Gray, President and Owner of MBE/DBE Outkast Electrical Contractors, Inc.
  • Darlene Lombos, Greater Boston Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer
  • Alan Scharfe, Executive Vice President of John A. Penny Co. & NECA Greater Boston President
  • John Green, IBEW Local 103 Examining Board Officer
  • Kenell Broomstein, President of KB-MAC, Inc.
  • Renee Dozier, IBEW Local 103 Business Agent
  • Lou Antonellis, IBEW Local 103 Business Manager/Financial Secretary
  • Kristen Gowin, NECA Greater Boston Executive Manager
  • Kathy Guinee, President and Owner of WBE Aetna Fire Alarm Service Co., Inc.
  • Brian Proctor, Training Instructor, Joint Apprenticeship Training Center
  • Robert Adams, Principal of Sargent Adams Consulting, LLC
  • Bill Moran, President of Bill Moran & Associates Community Mentoring Team

The Empower DEI Program offers:

  • Staffing by a full-time DEI Manager guided by NECA Greater Boston and IBEW Local 103 leadership;
  • An advanced and accelerated training program for experienced, licensed existing MBE and/or WBE
  • NECA contractors and IBEW Local 103 electricians seeking to open their own MBE and/or WBE contracting business;
  • Mentorship, training and resources from industry experts and leaders to foster participant success;
  • Operational and marketing support, including recommendations on trusted insurance, accounting, marketing, and other vendors;
  • Assistance with choosing cost-effective business solutions for compliance, pre-qualification, and certification;
  • Opportunities to be featured regularly in IBEW 103 and NECA marketing materials, social media, and advertising platforms.
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