When it comes to advancing diversity and inclusion in the construction industry, Construction Assistance Association (CAA) is at the forefront of the movement. And, the organization has recently launched a brand new website to amplify its message and elevate its members.
The new website, www.contractorsassistance.org, is designed to highlight the organization’s mission, membership and programs.
“As our mission states, we are committed to leading, learning, and making a difference in the Ohio construction industry,” says Margaret Hewitt, LEED AP, ENV SP Director of Planning, Design and Construction at The MetroHealth System and CAA president.
CAA members include construction companies, specialty contractors, suppliers, and associations – all of whom are among the best in the industry.
CAA was reorganized from the 1970-80’s Cleveland Contractors Association as a Construction Employers Association (CEA) affiliate in 2008. There are currently over forty CEA contractors involved in diversity and inclusion efforts. CEA hosts quarterly programs with owners to provide insights and further opportunities for diversity and inclusion in local projects.
CAA celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019.
“Our strategic direction and focus going forward is to further diversity and inclusion efforts in construction,” says Hewitt.
CAA has three focus areas: contracting, education, and employment. CAA developed and supports CEA’s Mentor Protégé Program and is working to continually improve the program as well as its standard outcomes, members are engaged in numerous education and training programs to enhance the capacity of firms, and CAA supports equal opportunity in construction and seeks to increase local residency employment and diversity.
“We have examples of success in all of those areas,” Hewitt continues.
CAA’s most recent programs included The CAA Shark Tank and CEO Lunch Program. The Shark Tank provided CAA members an opportunity to pitch for help with their most pressing needs to CEA members. The CEO Lunch Program is designed to help members build stronger relationships by matching executives of smaller companies with those of larger companies to have a sixty minute conversation over lunch. Lastly, The CAA and AGC (The Association of General Contractors of America) Exchange is another opportunity for members to establish a meaningful relationship.
“We’re not trying to be all things to everyone but we will be a conduit for helping the industry become more diverse,” says Hewitt.