Samantha DeAlmeida, president of Associated Builders and Contractors’ New Jersey Chapter, and John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM, Founder, President, and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey{AACCNJ}. attended the national 2022 Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Summit, “Building Bridges: Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in a Changing Construction Landscape,” in Washington, D.C. ABC’s IDE Summit focused on meaningful, thought-provoking discussions and solutions-based recommendations for building diverse workplaces and supplier networks. ABC began hosting the summit in 2015.

“ABC values inclusion, diversity and equity as an empowering competitive advantage. We believe in creating—and championing—conditions where individuals and organizations are limited only by their own potential and desire. This is the driving force behind the merit shop philosophy and ABC’s inclusion, diversity and equity initiatives,” said Samantha DeAlmeida, president of ABC-NJ. “In New Jersey, we are working to change the landscape of our construction industry by bringing more jobs and opportunities through our Apprenticeship Education Training program to underserved and low-income communities.”

“The African American Chamber of Commerce New Jersey is thrilled to partner with ABC-NJ in bringing diversity to New Jersey’s construction workforce. Together we are working to promote their registered Apprenticeship Training program, particularly in cities and neighborhoods where this type of training program has not yet existed,” said John Harmon, president of AACCNJ. “Today’s summit is an important reminder that a diverse workforce doesn’t happen by accident. You must build it from the ground up with intentionality by providing training, well-paying jobs and out of the box thinking in underperforming communities in our state.”

The 2022 Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Summit is a one-day event consisting of sessions, keynotes, table topics and discussions that bring together industry leaders and key stakeholders who understand the value of diversity in construction and whose goal is to help promote the association’s mission within diverse groups. The summit is held in conjunction with ABC Legislative Week 2022.

According to ABC, 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 and diverse hiring practices to community engagement and everything in between, building bridges has never been more important.

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