The national 2022 Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Summit, “Building Bridges: Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in a Changing Construction Landscape,” in Washington, D.C., focused on thought-provoking discussions and solutions-based recommendations for building diverse workplaces and supplier networks.
Hosted by the Associated Builders and Contractors, the summit it was attended by Samantha DeAlmeida, president of Associated Builders and Contractors’ New Jersey Chapter, and John Harmon, founder, CEO and president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.
“ABC values inclusion, diversity and equity as an empowering competitive advantage. We believe in creating — and championing — conditions where individuals and organizations are limited only by their own potential and desire. This is the driving force behind the merit shop philosophy and ABC’s inclusion, diversity and equity initiatives,” DeAlmeida said.
New Jersey is working to change the landscape of the construction industry by bringing more jobs and opportunities through the ABC’s Apprenticeship Education Training program to underserved and low-income communities.
Harmon said the AACCNJ, together with the ABC, can promote and build the apprenticeship program because these things don’t just happen — particularly in cities and neighborhoods where this type of training program has not yet existed.
“Today’s summit is an important reminder that a diverse workforce doesn’t happen by accident. You must build it from the ground up with intentionality by providing training, well-paying jobs and out-of-the-box thinking in underperforming communities in our state,” Harmon stated.