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EC Cleveland, Regional Sewer District Join Forces to Expand Opportunities for Disadvantaged Contractors in NE Ohio

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In its ongoing work to expand contracting opportunities for MWSBE (Minority-owned, Woman-owned or Small Business Enterprise) businesses in Northeast Ohio, EC Cleveland has graduated 13 contractors from the second session of its Cleveland/Cuyahoga E-Contractor Academy. Those individuals are now eligible for ongoing technical assistance through December 2018. Front row from left: Jacquie Gillon, EC Cleveland Local Council, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Thriving Communities; Dawn Arrington, EC Cleveland; Denise Fairchild, ECC President & CEO; SeMia Bray, EC Cleveland Director; Tiffany Jordan, NEORSD BOP; and David Merkel, Chase Business Banking, East Region RM Channel and (2nd row, far right) Chris Smith, EC Cleveland Local Council, JumpStart Inc., join E-Contractor Academy graduates at the completion ceremony.

The academy prepares MWSBE contractors to compete for and perform energy efficiency retrofits in public, commercial and residential buildings; renewable energy projects; and green infrastructure projects. It is supported by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and the Cuyahoga County government.

By hosting the seven weekly three-hour seminars, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) facilitated a focus on green infrastructure projects and a connection with its own Business Opportunity Program (BOP), which contributes to the region’s economic health by providing procurement opportunities to minority-owned, women-owned and small businesses.

In addition, the BOP team helped present seminars on key topics as accessing capital, peer-to-peer learning and networking strategies. 

“We are already planning for the next E-Contractor Academy session, set for the first quarter of 2018,” noted EC Cleveland Director SeMia Bray. “And we know that the recent E-Contractor grads will benefit from the ongoing technical assistance provided by our collaborative partners, including NEORSD BOP, Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, JumpStart, COSE|GCP and the Minority Business Development Center.”

See all photos from the academy’s recent completion event here.

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