• Growing social and economic inequality hit women and people of color hardest because of historic and ongoing discrimination rooted in biases in the workplace;
  • The construction industry has represented an opportunity for workers, generally men, to ascend to the middle class and benefit from good wages, important benefits, economic stability, and the personal dignity that comes through hard work with one’s hands;
  • The construction industry is one of the largest sectors of the New England economy;
  • People of color and women still lag behind their white male peers in securing employment within the construction industry, with women comprising just 3% of the workforce nationally;
  • Colleges account for hundreds of millions of dollars in construction spending in each year alone;
  • Colleges are usually committed to being responsible employers and community partners, building diverse and inclusive faculty and student bodies, and developing the potential of young people from all backgrounds;
  • The Federal government and public state agencies in Massachusetts, including the University of Massachusetts Building Authority have committed to ensuring that women are able to contribute at least 6.9% of any construction project’s workhours, and people of color at least 15.3% of a project’s total workhours;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that private colleges in New England similarly commit to:

  • Require the targeted percentages set by the state for women and people of color be minimum thresholds for all construction contractors performing work on campus (minimally 6.9% women work hours and 15.3% people of color work hours);
  • Establish a formal contractor compliance process to ensure that these workforce goals are met on each project;
  • Establish an annual review process for students and the administration to review the past year’s construction projects’ diversity and to determine if the targeted minimum thresholds can be increased so that together we may build a more inclusive local economy.

Construction Diversity Pledge

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