Congratulations to the LISC Toledo grant winners! We are very thankful for the responses from contractors and real estate developers in Toledo. These survey responses are helping to frame the current state of these industries and identify barriers for small and minority contractors and developers.
Current research documents the struggles in the construction industry to develop a diverse workforce and attract or sustain workers from underrepresented groups. These groups include people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, first-generation college graduates, and those with varied socioeconomic backgrounds.
Obtaining MBE/WBE certification can open up some doors for contractors and there has been a significant effort in the U.S. to make sure contracts are awarded to businesses representative of the citizens who live in those communities. But there is still so much work to be done.
Some of the barriers we have discovered are roadblocks to growing a business and earning larger contracts. How do we make the bridge between smaller companies without extensive resources and contracts they are blocked from due to never having one before? It’s imperative to recognize these barriers and take steps to be cognizant of solutions. Creating opportunities for growth, new partnerships, and success is key to solving the lack of diversity and increasing discrimination in the construction industry.
Our next step in researching is interviews with contractors and developers in Toledo to further learn about these individual barriers. If you took our original survey, please fill out this interest form.