Strategic Collaboration Launches Innovative “Build A Life That Works” Campaign Designed to Increase Diversity in the Union Building Trades
Recruitment and Outreach Strategy Sets Ambitious Goal of 20% Tradeswomen by 2020
In honor of National Women in Apprenticeship Day, the Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity (NCTE) in conjunction with state, business, and local partners is excited to announce a first-of-its-kind, statewide recruitment initiative to encourage more women to pursue a career in the union building trades. The new Build A Life That Works campaign seeks to address an ongoing challenge in an innovative and impactful way by inspiring women to pursue a career in the union building trades as a viable path to equal pay for equal work, excellent benefits, and a better future. Currently, in Massachusetts tradeswomen comprise 5% of the workforce. This statewide effort aims to increase tradeswomen in the building trades to 20% by 2020.
Massachusetts is a nationally recognized leader in the movement to employ women in the union trades; however, female construction workers remain underrepresented in these high wage careers. This unique partnership was formed to develop and implement this timely recruitment initiative as Massachusetts continues to experience a historic building boom with expanded gaming at the forefront. Wynn Boston Harbor is the largest single-phase construction project in the history of the Commonwealth while MGM Springfield is the largest private development in Western Massachusetts history. MGM Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor are expected to provide over 6,000 construction jobs to the state over a multi-year period.
The Build A Life That Works campaign taps into the insight that women could enjoy a rewarding career in the construction trades, if they would only consider the opportunity. To break down the barriers of awareness and consideration, Build A Life That Works illustrates not just the benefits of a career with promising growth but also shares the great pride in building a legacy of Massachusetts developments. The campaign features real women in the building trades, now enjoying home ownership, quality time with their families, world travel and many more life moments and experiences, made possible with a career in construction.
The core educational component of this effort is a mobile-enabled, user-friendly website BuildALifeMA.org. The site provides a hub of valuable career information and practical guidance. As part of a sustained outreach and education effort, the Build A Life That Works campaign will promote its message through advertising, marketing, grassroots events and digital strategies. Build A Life That Works advertising will be highly visible through in-kind signage donation from the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103 (IBEW), the City of Boston and the City of Everett. Printed posters, brochures, and fliers will be distributed at career centers, community centers, vocational-technical schools and other targeted locations including construction sites.
Build A Life That Works will be administered by NCTE and includes the hire of a Pipeline Navigator who will educate and guide apprenticeship prospects through the multiple union enrollment processes. Every page of the BuildALifeMA.org website strategically offers a potential candidate the ability to connect directly with the Pipeline Navigator for further personalized guidance and information.
“The construction industry has a severe labor shortage and women workers need good family-sustaining jobs. NCTE and the building trades unions are connecting these two communities in a way that will address both income inequality and the needs of business,” said Susan Moir, Director of Research at the UMass Labor Resource Center and convener of the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues (PGTI).
“Building Pathways is proud to be a partner in this exciting campaign to increase the participation of women in the union building trades. This campaign addresses the need to recruit top talent into the industry while opening pathways to women to enter family-sustaining careers in construction,” said Mary Vogel, Executive Director of Building Pathways.
“Advancing this important diversity initiative from concept to reality has been a rewarding experience for the Gaming Commission. We hope that this tangible, long-term solution will be a catalyst for a future of economic opportunity for women,” said Steve Crosby, Chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). “This initiative implements one of the legislative objectives to generate a more diverse and skilled workforce that will ultimately expand economic opportunity for all Massachusetts residents.”
“Strong collaboration is the only way we can ensure that we’re removing barriers that cause economic inequity throughout our city,” said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. “In 2017, we set ambitious targets for the construction industry, and a campaign like “Build a Life That Works” is a great way for the building trades to show they are committed to building a strong, more equitable city and state. I commend them for their efforts, and look forward to working together to empower Boston residents and provide the same ladder of opportunity for all.”
“Massachusetts’ Building Trades unions remain committed to increasing opportunities for more women to access the top-quality training, wages and benefits that come with a career in the construction industry,” said Frank Callahan, President of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council.
“The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has made a major commitment to increasing our female membership. We are actively seeking women who want to build a successful career with us and this new marketing campaign will help us encourage more women to pursue careers in this high skill industry with good wages and benefits that allow them to provide for their families and participate in the middle class. Equality is what the union is all about – for all workers,” said Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary Treasurer for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.
Casino licensees in Massachusetts have regularly met and exceeded their diversity goals for construction hiring. Though a particular challenge for casino developers and developers, in general, is the supply of women in construction trades.
Wynn Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio said, “We are proud to be part of an effort that both underscores our commitment to diversity and advances the important role that the state’s gaming industry has in connecting people with economic opportunity.”
MGM Springfield President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Mathis, “MGM is deeply committed to diversity in our workforce so we are very proud that this campaign is spotlighting our team as it encourages women to consider careers in the trades. We applaud the MGC’s initiative in spearheading this drive for more women in the high-wage construction jobs around the region.”
MGC and NCTE partnered with a marketing firm, KHJ Brand Activation, to develop the full brand concept and comprehensive communications campaign including a website, promotional materials, and digital and mobile strategies to increase awareness and outreach.
This program is funded by $200,000 in grants from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Wynn Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Penn National (Plainridge Park Casino). This initiative also includes in-kind support from the MCCA, MassDOT, the NERCC, IBEW Local 103, the City of Boston and the City of Everett.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Wynn Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Penn National (Plainridge Park Casino), the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the City of Boston, the City of Everett, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity whose principal partners include the Building Pathways Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program, the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District (MetroBTC), the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues.
In November 2016, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a non-profit organization to optimize the outcomes of the diversity goals outlined in the Gaming Law. MGC sought to fund a non-profit organization to serve as a single point of contact to direct women, with a particular focus on increasing women of color as applicants, through the admissions and enrollments procedures of the various union building trades. MGC’s RFP inspired the creation of a statewide partnership, known as the Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity, composed of stakeholders with considerable expertise in advancing opportunities for women in construction.
NCTE is a newly formed Massachusetts-based stakeholder alliance created to increase women’s participation and retention in the building trades and to facilitate a community-driven career development process for disadvantaged workers. The principal partner groups include Massachusetts AFL-CIO (MA AFL-CIO), the Building Pathways Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program (BPI), the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District (MetroBTC), the New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) and the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues (PGTI). This multi-stakeholder collaboration brings together a leadership team with decades of experience and a proven track record of success in increasing access and opportunities for women and people of color to enter careers in the union building trades in Massachusetts.
The Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity (NCTE) is a Massachusetts-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping women find careers in the union building trades. This isn’t just a campaign, it’s a movement with a big goal: to have 20% women in the building trades by 2020. The principal partner groups include Massachusetts AFL-CIO (MA AFL-CIO), the Building Pathways Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program (BPI), the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District (MetroBTC), the New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) and the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues (PGTI). This multi-stakeholder collaboration brings together a leadership team with decades of experience and a proven track record of success in increasing access and opportunities for women and people of color to enter careers in the union building trades in Massachusetts.
KHJ Brand Activation is an independent, full-service brand strategy and activation firm with deep expertise in healthcare, real estate and B2B services. Situated in the Seaport district of Boston, KHJ is widely recognized for its ability to bring the ‘heart and soul’ of a brand to life, igniting internal cultures and engaging external stakeholders to achieve a higher level of performance. Explore what’s possible at khj.com.