Empower DEI Program Launched in Boston

Published On
Jul 13, 2021

NECA Greater Boston and IBEW Local 103 launched “Empower DEI” to increase the number of minority- and women-owned electrical contractors within the Boston area, demonstrating their commitment “to dismantling structural racism and sexism within our industry and beyond.”

“Through this program, we aim to ensure that we are adopting and investing in best practices and resource-sharing that will help advance diversity, equity and inclusion within our sector for the benefit of all,” the groups state on the program’s website.

The program will provide access, mentorship, connections, training and business growth opportunities to qualified minority business enterprise (MBE) and woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) contractors “to ensure they thrive.” Contractors qualify if they maintain DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) employment standards.

Specifics of the program include:

  • An advanced and accelerated training program for experienced, licensed, existing MBE or WBE NECA contractors and IBEW 103 electricians seeking to open their own MBE or WBE contracting business, helping to connect those MBEs and WBEs with mentors, training and resources “to ensure their success.”

  • Staffing by a full-time DEI manager guided by NECA Greater Boston and IBEW Local 103 leadership

  • Essential business, operational and marketing support for MBE and WBE signatory electrical contractors

  • Support with business solutions¾including compliance, prequalifications, certifications and establishing mentorship connections in the industry

  • An active mentorship program within the union electrical construction industry

  • Engagement of a professional facilitator to offer biannual DEI trainings to IBEW Local 103 and NECA Greater Boston personnel, leaders and contractors

  • Creation and execution of a strategic marketing plan outlining approaches and tactics that will help to increase market share for MBE and WBE electrical contracting businesses that “preserve community standards” as signatory members of NECA Greater Boston

  • Regular promotion in IBEW Local 103 and NECA Greater Boston marketing materials, social media and advertising platforms

The Boston area program dovetails on the NECA DEI Task Force formed in December 2020, made up of 20 NECA national staff members, chapter staff and executives from member companies across the country. The task force and its subcommittees have been developing DEI education sessions and training modules, digital resources, surveys and other resources, “to create a long-term cultural shift” within the U.S. electrical contracting industry.

“Our vision at NECA is to empower lives and communities throughout the United States,” David Long, NECA CEO, said in the December announcement.

“In the creation of this task force, we hope to empower each and every person—regardless of background, race, gender or any other factor—to succeed and be able to grow in our industry,” Long said. “Electrical construction is a truly rewarding career, and we need to join together and ensure this opportunity exists for everybody.”

About the Author

Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert has more than three decades of experience writing about the construction industry, and her articles have been featured in the Associated General Contractor’s Constructor magazine, the American Fence Association’s Fencepost, the...

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