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MUFG Union Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco Support Program to Increase Local Minority Contracting in Bay Area

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September 20, 2017, San Francisco – Thanks to an application submitted by MUFG Union Bank to the Federal Home Loan (FHL) Bank of San Francisco, Emerald Cities San Francisco (EC San Francisco), was awarded a $30,000 grant to build the skills and grow the businesses of local minority contractors.

The funds are made available under FHL Bank’s AHEAD (Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development) Program, which awards grants through member banks to community groups. The grants support a variety of targeted economic development projects, including those that create or preserve jobs and benefit low- and moderate-income communities.

EC San Francisco is a local branch of Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC), a national nonprofit that works with community organizations, labor, business and government to create a sustainable, just and inclusive economy. Focusing on low-income communities of color, ECC advances policies, programs and projects that benefit the environment, the economy and equity/economic inclusion.

Helping Disadvantaged Contractors Move “AHEAD”
The AHEAD funds will allow EC San Francisco to begin development and implementation of ECC’s third E-Contractor Academy, a training program that prepares small minority, women and veteran contractors to become competitive bidders for clean-energy and green infrastructure projects – a growing sector in the Bay Area.

The first academy, in Los Angeles County, has had notable success in increasing opportunities for disadvantaged contractors. Since November 2013, three cohorts totaling 125 graduates –small, local, minority and veteran contractors – have been awarded nearly $16 million of clean-energy and green infrastructure projects while also providing jobs for underserved community residents. The Cleveland academy recently graduated its first cohort of attendees and will begin a second round of seminars in October.

The San Francisco Bay Area E-Contractor Academy will be a workshop-based technical and business skill-building program that trains small, minority and disadvantaged contractors from low- and moderate-income communities to successfully bid and secure public and private contracts for renewable energy project construction and services coupled with energy efficiency building retrofits, distributed energy storage and public works/utility projects.

Local Experts Will Provide Instruction
Weekly seminars taught by expert practitioners such as solar installers, general contractors, workforce training organizations, community banks and the local Building Construction Trades will provide instruction on current procurement and environmental policies, the technologies needed to be competitive in the green building sector and support functions like bonding, insurance and finance. The training will include both classroom sessions and access to advanced, hands-on technical curricula at training centers operated the local building trades. 

“We are grateful to Union Bank for supporting our AHEAD grant application to the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco,” said EC Local Director Avni Jamdar.

“We are hopeful that the FHL Bank’s show of faith in our work to advance economic equity in the Bay Area, coupled with ECC’s record of success in LA County, will inspire additional contributions to EC San Francisco, enabling us to open the doors of the newest E-Contractor Academy in the coming months,” she added.

“We look forward to helping local disadvantaged contractors grow their companies while advancing the Bay Area’s clean-energy economy,” she said.

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Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) is a national nonprofit network of organizations working together to create high-road – sustainable, just and inclusive – local economies. Local and national partners bring resources and expertise from the community, labor, business and government sectors. ECC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and works in Emerald Cities nationwide. 

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