Building Diversity in Construction

Ally D'Ovidio

Minority and majority owned contractors met in Washington, D.C. last month to explore strategies to address the lack of diversity in the construction industry.

The meeting was part of the Diversity and Inclusion Summit, held during ABC National’s Legislative Week.

ABC Baltimore member Larry Lopez, owner of Green JobWorks, LLC., and who also served as a panelist said he believes greater diversity is a natural direction for construction and all industries, “For me, one of the things that’s really important is to understand that our world is changing,” he said. “People look different and are different. We are a culture of immigrants.”

Many panelists agreed that establishing an MBE is not simple. Lopez said one of the biggest challenges is for that business to get their name out there, in the community as well as in the industry.

“If you’re a small business, you can feel small. You can feel insignificant sometimes in a room full of people who don’t look like you or act like you,” said Lopez. “But you’ve got to come out of your shell a little bit. You have to meet people. You have to make connections. Business is done with relationships.” Lopez is a member of the ABC Baltimore Board of Directors and also serves on the National Diversity and Inclusion Committee.