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ABC: embracing inclusion in the construction industry

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) recently announced its strong support of the second annual Construction Inclusion Week – which took place the third week of October – and the need to champion and foster inclusion, diversity and equity throughout the construction industry.

Companies that were more diverse were more innovative, and performed better than others. Photo credit Brian Odwar.

Created by ABC members, Construction Inclusion Week harnesses the collective power of the construction industry to build awareness regarding the need to improve inclusion, diversity and equity in the industry. 

“Building inclusive, diverse and equitable workplaces ensures job creators in the construction community offer a robust employee value proposition that is attractive to top talent from all communities,” said ABC Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Tia Perry. “Recruiting and retaining the best workers in the marketplace will foster more creativity, win more work and deliver the greatest value to the construction user. ABC is proud to be an integral part of this important week.”

“Associated Builders and Contractors of New Jersey is proud to support Construction Inclusion Week and a more inclusive construction industry,” said Samantha DeAlmeida, president of ABC of New Jersey. “We’ve recently partnered with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey to bring our Apprenticeship Education & Training Fund, a U.S. Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program, to underserved and low-income areas throughout New Jersey, where this type of upskilling program has not existed. By providing inclusive and equitable opportunities for well-paying jobs in these communities, our apprenticeship program helps achieve workforce equity while disrupting generational poverty.” 

“Recruiting and retaining the best workers in the marketplace will foster more creativity, win more work and deliver the greatest value to the construction user,” said ABC Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Tia Perry.

“One of the most important opportunities in front of us is ensuring that authentic and personal conversations happen in the field,” said Carolyn Ellison, managing director of community affairs at Clark Construction Group LLC and a member of ABC’s National Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee. “I’m proud that Clark Construction has placed increased focus on fostering engagement and personal connections with our craft workforce – both during CIW and beyond.”

The business case for IDE grows stronger every year. Diversity brings new ideas into an organization from various communities, resulting in greater innovation and creativity. Organizations that strive to promote IDE reap many benefits, including:

  • Attracting and retaining high-caliber talent: Job-seekers are attracted to employers that demonstrate a commitment to sustaining a diverse workforce.
  • Increasing productivity: Employing workers from all backgrounds not only fosters a positive work environment, but by widening the candidate pool, also helps construction companies recruit the most qualified workers. Gallup reports that removing bias from the interview process and hiring based on skills and talent leads to 41% less absenteeism, 70% fewer safety incidents and 59% less turnover. 
  • Driving innovation and financial results: The Harvard Business Review published a survey that found many tangible benefits of diversity. Companies that were more diverse were more innovative, performed better than others, were 45% likelier to report that their firm’s market share grew during the previous year and were 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.
  • Promoting total human health: ABC’s Total Human Health Initiative fosters inclusion by focusing on wellness of the body, heart, spirit and mind. Health and safety programs for all industries should provide access to resources that apply to the four dimensions of total human health.
Employing workers from all backgrounds not only fosters a positive work environment, but by widening the candidate pool, also helps construction companies recruit the most qualified workers.

ABC believes that career opportunities should be made available to all people and in creating and championing conditions where individuals and organizations are limited only by their own potential and desire to succeed. This is the driving force behind the merit shop philosophy and ABC’s IDE initiatives. ABC’s diversity outreach is led by the association’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee, which was established in 1999 as a key component of ABC’s value proposition to develop people, win work and deliver work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. Visit abc.org/diversity to learn about ABC’s IDE strategy.  


Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 68 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit ABC at abc.org

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