The E-Contractor Academy prepares small, minority, women and veteran contractors to perform energy and water efficiency retrofit and other green infrastructure projects. Contractors learn about the regulatory and technical demands of green infrastructure projects. They also learn to bid and manage large-scale projects that include labor and community workforce standards typical of government, schools, hospitals and other institutions. Training is tailored to specific projects and is also applicable to large-scale green infrastructure projects.
The E-Contractor Academy includes a strategic, comprehensive business support program to ensure that small and minority firms are in the forefront of the emerging green building/construction industry. Specific support services include:
- Procurement assistance;
- Training/technical assistance and mentoring in the energy efficiency/renewable sector
- Monitoring and compliance
- Affiliation with the Building and Construction Trade Unions
Two types of procurement assistance are offered as part of project development and design.
First, ECC provides technical assistance to building owners/project developers of green building/infrastructure projects and to local stakeholders to establish local economic development goals – local hire and contracting. This includes establishing realistic goals for diversity and inclusion, designing bid/solicitation documents that include hiring and contracting requirements, evaluating bids and developing monitoring and compliance reporting systems. This “full-value” infrastructure investment strategy gives qualified small contractors opportunities to compete with larger contractors.
Second, the E-Contractor program connects small contractors to procurement opportunities with larger and established vendors as a way of growing a pool of experienced local contractors.
The E-Contractor Academy training curriculum helps contractors prequalify for large-scale public sector and energy efficiency contracts. The goal is to help small and minority businesses access and manage public contracts with rigorous workforce (labor and community), procurement and safety requirements.
The training also helps contractors understand today’s green building regulatory environment and the opportunities emerging from new regulations; major firms/suppliers and procurement opportunities; and technologies needed to be competitive in the green building sector.
The training is customized to the local environment and to project and contractor needs, but it is primarily designed to help experienced contractors with basic business skills and certifications (MBE/WBE) prequalify for and bid on large-scale, public sector, green building projects.
The core modules of the training program include:
- Green building basics – regulations, technologies, materials and processes
- Estimating green building projects
- Labor, community and safety standards and practices
- Public sector procurement prequalification
- Advanced electrical and mechanical certifications
- Labor compliance and reporting system
Monitoring and Compliance
An essential component of ECC’s small contractor program is proactive monitoring and compliance to ensure the on-going success of the diversity program.
Partnership with the Building and Construction Trades
ECC’s partnership with the Building and Construction Trades provides additional opportunities for small contractors to access the extensive training and business services of these trade organizations. Successful contractors can receive Advanced Technical Training (mechanical trades, laborers, pipefitters, HVAC, etc.) as signatories to local contractors associations.
To become a union signatory, contractors must:
- Demonstrate technical competencies (via tests) in the construction trade(s);
- Pay union dues; and
- Agree to comply with local union contracts on union jobs.
The benefits include:
- Access to large-scale union contracts
- Access to capital;
- Ability to hire trained, skilled, productive employees who are experienced and proficient in the sector of the market you are competing in and at rates that allow you to be competitive and profitable; and
- Advanced technical training for contractor employees.