Message from AGC MA CEO, John Ferrante
Welcome to the new year and welcome to the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts!
It was a productive first year as CEO even as it was an unpredictable second year of the pandemic. Nevertheless, AGC MA and our members have continued to lead the industry on the issues of the day while maintaining the core services that are the foundation of our success.
With justice and equality at the forefront of our minds in 2021, we held a first-of-its-kind Diversity Summit of industry leaders, organized tools and best practices on building an inclusive work culture, participated in the first-of-its-kind Construction Inclusion Week, and our Board of Directors ratified a first-of-its-kind Commitment to Action on Diversity and Inclusion. As we continue this work, we are now looking to expand our efforts to also diversify business opportunities in the industry.
In 2022, we are partnering with ASM, DCAMM, SDO, Massport, and UMBA on a first-of-its-kind survey of diverse construction businesses that will be the most comprehensive ever conducted in Massachusetts. In addition, we have engaged with outside experts to develop a diverse business incubator program to expand their capacity and increase opportunities to work with AGC members. Finally, we are planning the second Diversity Summit, Construction Inclusion Week, and a first-of-its-kind Diverse Business Forum for the construction industry.
Tied in with diversity and inclusion, AGC MA is also leading the charge on workforce development. The need to recruit the next generation of tradespeople and construction managers cannot be understated. The future of our industry relies on appealing to the most diverse generation in history. Many industries are just beginning to grapple with the workforce constrictions that have tempered growth in the construction industry for years. We need to inspire the younger generation by challenging misperceptions of the types of opportunities available in our industry and we need to bring along educators by challenging misconceptions about the types of career paths taken in our industry.
In 2021, we conducted a first-of-its-kind Externship Program which immersed 7 educators in the commercial construction industry for a week. That experience has grown into true engagement beyond just those 7 schools including field trips, career panels, tool donations, internships, and even jobs.
We are committed to carrying on this work in 2022 by fostering additional engagement with local schools and publishing a first-of-its-kind newsletter to inform educators, students, and parents about the people, projects, and pathways in commercial construction. We will run a second externship program and are focused on developing additional curriculum to show students what construction management is all about. I encourage anyone reading this to visit our workforce development website www.constructingma.org and share it with your kids or their teachers to spread awareness of our industry.
All these “first-of-their-kind” initiatives are exciting new developments that have come in addition to our normal member benefits like educational programs, professional development opportunities, networking events, safety services, and information blasts. I didn’t even have enough space to touch on the Emerging Leaders Development Series, Massachusetts Construction Salary Survey, and all our growing partnerships with other industry stakeholder groups.
However, I will take this last opportunity to thank our Board of Directors for their vision, our committee members for their dedication, and the staff of AGC MA for their execution. This is only the start. I invite anyone who would like to join us as these efforts begin to bear fruit to please reach out to me at email@example.com or 781-534-3137!