Economic Inclusion Program

Emerald Cities Collaborative specializes in the design and implementation of diversity programs for energy, water, large construction and infrastructure projects that strengthen the resilience of local economies and the built environment.


New Report: Inclusive Procurement and Contracting: Building a Field of Policy and Practice

ECC’s Economic Inclusion Program (EIP) offers training and customized technical assistance that produce measurable outcomes. These services enable public- and private-sector entities and community partners – including private contractors, local governments, schools, universities, hospitals and other major institutions – to easily and successfully design and implement economic inclusion strategies that connect disadvantaged workers and small and minority businesses to major development projects.  

Our economic inclusion services are:

  • Market-driven
  • Inclusive 
  • Customized
  • Technology-enabled
  • Community-supportive


Our national team’s economic inclusion program experience includes: 

  • Local worker hiring and procurement policies, protocols and systems; 
  • Labor and supplier/contractor diversity monitoring, reporting and compliance;
  • Project Labor Agreement (PLA) administration and contractor training;
  • MBE/WBE/VDBE outreach, training and support; and
  • Design of disadvantaged worker and youth construction apprenticeship and STEM career pathways. 


Design/Develop Diversity and Inclusion Systems 

ECC works collaboratively with project teams to: 

  • Define the project scope and approach;
  • Identify and enhance existing economic inclusion policies and resources;
  • Develop and institutionalize diversity/inclusion implementation tools and systems; 
  • Train staff and contractors to properly implement diversity/inclusion policies and procedures; and
  • Identify key community partners to enhance successful outcomes. 

Plan and Implement Monitoring and Compliance Systems

 ECC helps contractors collect data and produce reports to monitor and record progress on local hiring and procurement targets. We help:

  • Identify relevant data and implement customized online (electronic) data reporting systems;
  • Increase efficiencies related to collecting, storing, documenting and reporting data;
  • Identify staffing and operational needs and train staff and contractors for effective monitoring and compliance; and
  • Develop a proactive monitoring and compliance program with a network of local workforce and contractor service providers. 

Contractor Support Services

ECC engages prime and subcontractors to effectively participate in a project’s economic inclusion program. We:

  • Orient/train contractors on project-specific economic inclusion goals and protocols;
  • Outreach and recruit MBE/SBE/WBE/DBE/DVBEs;
  • Address barriers to bonding, certification and access to capital; and
  • Train/prequalify and support M/S/W/DBE/DVBEs to effectively compete for large-scale and public-sector projects.

Workforce Systems and Disadvantaged Worker Support

ECC helps develop the pipeline of workers from target communities to ensure successful worker recruitment and retention, building long-term career opportunities for disadvantaged workers in high-wage construction, architecture and engineering jobs. We: 

  • Identify and organize workforce partnerships that include community-based training organizations, apprenticeship programs, community college programs and/or workforce investment boards;
  • Facilitate the implementation of community workforce agreements;
  • Connect community-based training providers with apprenticeship training systems; and
  • Build the capacity of existing workforce systems to support growth sectors such as construction, manufacturing and environmental services.
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Selected Recent Clients:

  • City of New Orleans, Mayors Office of Economic Development
  • Los Angeles County, Office of Sustainability
  • Cuyahoga County, Office of Sustainability
  • City of Seattle. Office of Sustainability and the Environment
  • Seattle City Light
  • Mission Housing, San Francisco, California
  • City of Portland Water Bureau
  • Federal General Services Administration, Portland Regional Office
  • Peralta Community College District/Laney College
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National and Local Contacts

National: Denise Fairchild, President & CEO |
Sarah Robinson, Economic Inclusion Director 

Cleveland: SeMia Bray, Local Director |
Los Angeles: Veronica Soto, Program Director |
New York: Maggie Tishman, Program Director |

ECC National Office: 1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 900 | Washington, DC 20036 | 202-449-9780|

See ECC’s Economic Inclusion brochure here.

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