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“Building Bridges: Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in a Changing Construction Landscape”

The construction industry is changing in profound ways, but one constant remains: the need to bridge gaps in advancing inclusion, diversity and equity. From the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to diverse hiring practices, to community engagement and everything in between, building bridges has never been more important. ABC’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Summit will dive into meaningful, thought-provoking discussions and solutions-based recommendations for building diverse workplaces and supplier networks.

Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
Address: 999 9th St., N.W. Washington, DC 20001
Rate: $200

Please select the time zone.

Monday, June 13
10-10:30 a.m.

Jump-start the morning with an interactive experience and introduction to special guests.

10:30-11:30 a.m.
Building with Inclusive Infrastructure

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides approximately $1.2 trillion, including $550 billion in new infrastructure investments, to modernize the nation’s infrastructure for the 21st century. The legislation will produce critical opportunities for America’s workers and invest in underserved communities.

This session will discuss the opportunities that the new infrastructure investment can provide to diverse businesses. Hear from professionals on how minority-owned businesses can access government contracts and capital to help ensure funding provided under the bill will grow the economy sustainably and equitably for all Americans.

Rick C. Wade , is vice president of strategic alliances and outreach at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he develops and implements programs and initiatives to help the chamber create new business relationships and partnerships across diverse audiences. He also provides counsel on both domestic and global policy issues and leads special projects. Before joining the chamber, he was principal of The Wade Group and was a partner at Harves Investment Group.

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Developing Stronger Communities and Supporting a Diverse Workforce

Hear from Chicago community advocate Pastor Corey Brooks, founder of Project Hood, about how he is inspiring a new generation of diverse builders and transforming his community. Project Hood, in partnership with ABC Illinois, is empowering residents who have a desire to pursue a career in construction. Pastor Brooks received national acclaim for his book “Rooftop Revelations,” about his 94-day faith journey to save a community.

Pastor Corey B. Brooks, founder and senior pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago and founder and CEO of Project H.O.O.D. Communities Development Corp. Current Project H.O.O.D. programming includes a core and carpentry level one course, which places participants in entry-level construction jobs post-program; an entrepreneurship course; business workshops for aspiring and new business owners; a co-working office space; job placement programs; and communitywide events.

12:15-1 p.m.

Enjoy lunch with industry peers as you discuss challenges and action-based solutions surrounding inclusion,diversity and equity.

1-1:30 p.m.

Each table will be given several IDE topics to break down. Please have one representative from your table take notes on the discussion so your table can share the conversation later as a group.

1:30-2 p.m.
Subcontractor Success Story

National Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Excellence Award winner Helix Electric is increasing productivity and boosting profits by attracting the best talent in the industry. Helix will discuss how recent efforts like creating the National Diversity Council in 2020; making clear diversity recruitment and development policies and goals; and committing wholeheartedly to supplier diversity makes them an IDE success story.

Kimberly Ward , is a Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) at Helix Electric. As an HRBP her primary responsibilities are to ensure all company needs are met, goals are aligned, and communications are effective to ensure members of Team Helix have a positive work environment. Kimberly has over 10 years of experience in the electrical construction industry. She focuses on developing HR strategies, analyzes metrics to increase productivity and retention, implements innovative ideas and tools, and acts as a business consultant with the executive team.

2-3 p.m.
No Time to Buy - Insights Into How Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Can Foster Economic Growth

This discussion will supply in-depth analysis of key factors shaping economic outcomes, including the lingering pandemic, worker/skills shortages, the Ukraine-Russia war, rising interest rates and stepped-up infrastructure spending.  It will also provide insight regarding how greater inclusion, diversity and equity can support faster economic recovery while helping constrain inflation.  There will also be a forecast of the year to come.  Is there more growth in our shared future or is another recession on the way?

Presented by ABC National's chief economist Anirban Basu

Anirban Basu, is chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm headquartered in Baltimore. In 2014, Gov. Larry Hogan appointed him chair of the Maryland Economic Development Commission. He lectures at Johns Hopkins University in global strategy and has also taught international economics, urban economics and micro- and macroeconomics at Hopkins.

3-3:15 p.m.
3:15-3:45 p.m.
Greater Houston Chapter Spotlight on Diversity and Inclusion

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country. ABC Beamer of the Year Bill Brown from Austin Commercial will discuss how the chapter is maximizing the city’s built-in diversity through development of its own IDE programs. Brown will also share the Greater Houston Chapter’s strategy in recruiting the most diverse firms as ABC members.

Bill M. Brown, is a civil engineer with over 28 years of experience in civil engineering and the commercial construction market. Brown’s portfolio consists of landmark projects ranging from interiors and renovations to projects of large and exceptional scope. He has worked for and managed construction for several Fortune 500 companies. His construction experience includes roles ranging from intern, estimating and preconstruction, project engineer, assistant project manager, project manager, senior management, diversity manager and business development.

4-5:30 p.m.

During this time attendees will continue celebrating a diverse, equitable and inclusive future at our networking reception as well as have an opportunity to meet general contractors interested in creating win-win relationships.

Suppliers who are participating must submit a capabilities statement by emailing [email protected] no later than Friday, May 27.

This meeting provides general contractors with the opportunity to have a free booth with the registration of one attendee at the attending rate of $200. (To receive, when registering select your interest in participating in the Meet the General Contractors Matchmaking)

Check out photos from our 2019 in-person event.

Thank You to Our Sponsor

ABC’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity program is proudly sponsored by:

ABC insurance Trust

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors

ABC insurance Trust
Hensel Phelps

Diversity Supporters