FEBRUARY 2019  NEI’s Director of Northeast Construction Operations, Marc Marcelli, is donating his time to the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) to assist minority business enterprises (MBE) and women-owned business enterprises (WBE).

JPNDC created the Small Contractors Success Initiative in 2018 to assist small MBE and WBE contractors located in the City of Boston. The project involves free technical assistance and business education as well as connecting contractors with seasoned industry professionals like Marc.

NEI is involved in the small business pilot as both a sponsor and a mentor. As a mentor, Marc, along with staff and other volunteers, interviews and vets candidates for the program. Once accepted into the program, the contractors meet with staff to assess their needs, establish goals, create a plan for growing their business, and connect them to a mentor. Mentors, based on their own extensive experience, assist the contractors with bidding estimating. In some cases, NEI has given them work as a subcontractor or connected them to another general contractor so they can gain valuable experience in commercial construction.

“Many of our projects are located throughout Boston and we feel it is important to give back to the communities in any way we can,” said Marc. “JPNDC’s Small Contractors program gives us the opportunity to create employment opportunities for residents of these communities by encouraging small contractors to bid, win, and execute work in their neighborhoods.

To qualify for the JPNDC Small Contractors Success Initiative, a business must be located in the City of Boston with an annual revenue between $50,000 and $1 Million with the value of the largest completed job less than $1 Million. They must have been in business for at least two years and employ between one and five people. Businesses owned by women and people of color will be prioritized.

“Although my husband and I have run our electrical contracting business for more than 10 years, it was hard to get to the “next level”–a large contract that would really allow us to grow and hire more people, said Marquita Kelley. “I met Marc through JPNDC and he has been amazing. He really cares and it’s not just talk. He recognized how committed we were and how hard we were working with JPNDC to formalize our accounting and operations, and he guided us through the process of submitting a large bid. We got the contract and have been able to double our staff!”

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