News Release

Emerald Cities E-Contractor Academy Expands Green Building Opportunities for Cuyahoga County’s Small Minority, Women & Veteran Contractors


January 24, 2017, Cleveland – More small minority, women and veteran contractors throughout Cuyahoga County will be qualified for energy efficiency, renewable energy and green infrastructure projects after attending Emerald Cities Cleveland’s E-Contractor Academy, whose doors will open February 1.

And thanks to financial support from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and in-kind contributions from the county, the seven-week program of weekly three-hour seminars is free of charge to qualifying local contractors.

EC Cleveland is an affiliate of the national Washington, D.C.-based Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC).

“Emerald Cities understands contractor and workforce needs and understands clean energy,” said Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability Director, Mike Foley. “As a county we are very fortunate to have them train and prepare local contractors to develop a clean energy infrastructure and economy in Northeast Ohio."

“E-Contractor Academy graduates will be in a position to participate in up to $15 million in public- and private-sector projects currently in the pipeline for funding through the county’s Clean Energy Financing Hub, a resource that ECC helped create in 2015,” said EC Cleveland Director SeMia Bray, who manages the academy.

She continued, “The Cleveland/Cuyahoga County E-Contractor Academy will prepare small minority, women and veteran contractors to successfully compete for, win and perform public- and private-sector energy efficiency, renewable energy and green infrastructure projects across the Greater Cleveland metropolitan area. The program will help local contractors expand their businesses while also improving the environment, growing the local economy and ensuring equity for minority and other disadvantaged contractors.”

“Upon graduation,” Bray added, “participants will also be right on time to compete for supply chain opportunities in the LEEDCo (Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation) initiative, the Great Lakes’ first offshore freshwater wind energy project, known as ‘Icebreaker.’” 

EC Cleveland is bringing ECC’s signature focus on equity and inclusion to the LEEDCo project by helping to identify, provide technical assistance for and monitor local business inclusion within the supply chain.

The seven-week Cuyahoga County program – to be held at 6100 W. Canal Road, Valley View, Ohio, 44115 – will begin February 1, 2017, continuing through March 8, with a graduation ceremony on March 15. Interested contractors can apply online.

The class schedule is as follows, with all sessions held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm: 



Session Title

Feb. 1, 2017


Introduction to Procurement Processes & Bid Requirements for Public-Sector and Energy Efficiency Contracts


Feb. 8, 2017


Accessing Capital, Bonding and Insurance for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects


Feb. 15, 2017


Green Building Basics and How to Bid on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects


Feb. 22, 2017


Doing Business as an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Contractor

Mar. 1, 2017


Labor Compliance, LCP Tracker Software

Mar. 8, 2017


Worker and Site Safety Programs

Mar. 15, 2017


Completion Ceremony/ Graduation


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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