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Regional Construction Businesses Graduate from 2024 Construction Diversity Accelerator


Construction Diversity Accelerator participants and leaders pose together.

Twenty participants recently completed the 2024 Construction Diversity Accelerator (CDA), a 10-week program designed to give minority, women and veteran-owned construction and related businesses the skills they need to be competitive in their industry. This is the third cohort to participate in the accelerator, which was developed by the University of Kentucky (UK), Turner Construction and the Kentucky APEX Accelerator, an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation dedicated to helping Kentucky businesses navigate the complex world of government contracting.

 

Graduates of the 2024 Construction Diversity Accelerator:

 

  • Archie Aaron, Aaron’s Construction – Louisville, KY

  • Kyron Anderson, K Construction – Louisville, KY

  • Victor Bacon, Ge Co Enterprises Inc. – London, KY

  • Kevin Cheely, National Contracting Services – Louisville, KY

  • Jorge Diaz, Aequitas Power Company – Shelbyville, KY

  • Isaiah Hadley, Scruggs Construction Inc. – Seymour, IN

  • Willie Harden, Sonwi General Contractor – Louisville, KY

  • Quaynell King, Stevies Repair Solutions – Lexington, KY

  • Larry Middleton, Integrated Power and Technology – Louisville, KY

  • Charles Moore, Charles K Moore Excavating Paving and Concrete – Louisville, KY

  • Eli Qudamah, HVAC Plus – Louisville, KY

  • Derek Rideout, DAR Construction – Buckner, KY

  • Deron Seals, Elaine Allen – Lexington, KY

  • Brooke Taylor, ACE Consulting Company – Nicholasville, KY

  • Erica Trowell, McClain Construction Co – Louisville, KY

  • Mario Urrutia, MBE Contracting & Supply – Louisville, KY

  • Laneka Williams, Legacy Construction & Remodel – Louisville, KY

  • Shoshawna Williams, Safewayz Traffic Control – Elizabethtown, KY

  • Andre Wilson, DAW Cleaning Services – Lexington, KY

  • Justin Young, Done It All Construction – Lexington, KY

 

 

“The graduates deserve the highest praise for effectively leveraging the knowledge and opportunities offered through the CDA, significantly increasing their chances of success in the competitive world of contracting in the Kentucky region and beyond,” said Kentucky APEX Accelerator Executive Director Nancy Brown.

 

Throughout the program, accelerator participants completed a capstone project, a mock bid proposal on an active Turner Construction project on UK’s campus. In addition to submitting written mock bid proposals, project teams also participated in a post-bid interview with a committee of industry experts.

 

Seven Kentucky APEX Accelerator consultants supported this year’s participants throughout the program and provided more than 75 hours of one-on-one coaching specific to each company’s unique needs and goals. Areas of assistance included business readiness assessments, finalizing a business capability statement, registering in government systems and completing government certifications such as women-owned and minority-owned designations. Over the course of the program, the Kentucky APEX Accelerator also shared more than 150 local bid notices for construction and related trades through their Bid Match service, which pairs clients with contract opportunities in their industries and regions.

 

"It was a pleasure to work with our clients and with our partners Turner and UK in completing this program,” shared Kentucky APEX Accelerator Senior Procurement Consultant Jon Olsen. “This year's sessions should prove beneficial for the participants in their future contracting endeavors with UK and other government organizations.”

 

As a result of coaching received through the accelerator, 10 businesses became eligible to compete for local and state government contracts and two participants were awarded new federal contracts. Additional companies are working toward eligibility, completing government certifications and receiving ongoing training from Kentucky APEX Accelerator consultants as they pursue government contracts.

 

These ongoing successes reflect the goal of the Construction Diversity Accelerator to foster continued growth for participating businesses beyond graduation. This year’s graduates will enter a network of alumni that provides access to upcoming contract opportunities, training events and other resources made available by the Kentucky APEX Accelerator, Turner Construction and UK in collaboration with various community partners.

 

“Turner continues to be grateful to the many partners who have shared in our commitment to economic inclusion and supplier diversity,” noted Kristen Smitherman-Voltaire, community and citizenship coordinator at Turner Construction. “Beyond a contractor engagement and support program, the Construction Diversity Accelerator demonstrates the positive impact of community collaboration.”

 

“After three cohorts, the CDA Program continues to improve,” added Marilyn Clark, economic inclusion manager at UK.  “This year, UK Economic Inclusion has a goal to ensure underrepresented contractors know how to submit bids and RFPs. This has been a barrier for small businesses. The participants in the CDA demonstrated and exceeded our expectations. I couldn’t be more pleased. We also continue to grow our partnerships, with 13 participating community partners this year.”

 

Those interested in learning more about government contracting resources available through the Kentucky APEX Accelerator, including the Construction Diversity Accelerator program, can visit kyapex.com. 




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