Blog Category: 
Thought Leadership

Celebrating a Decade of Diversity

Ten years ago, JE Dunn was thrilled to graduate its first class of participants from the Minority Contractor Business Development, or MCBD, program. Today, the program has spread across the country thoughout our offices, enabling minority- and women-owned business enterprises to compete and succeed in today’s marketplace. In addition to our corporate headquarters in Kansas City, we have expanded the MCBD program to our offices across the country, supporting communities in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Nashville, Austin, Charlotte, Houston, and Savannah.

As part of the belief that a strong community is mutually beneficial for everyone in it, giving back is central to the mission of JE Dunn. True to this belief, the MCBD program has trained over 600 companies that have contracted over $100 million in work with JE Dunn over the last 10 years. The program supports its participants in numerous ways. The goal is not to teach minority subcontractors their trade, but to help put disadvantaged business owners into strong partnerships with experienced business professionals who can help them learn and master basic business management skills. The program consists of a series of monthly classes facilitated by JE Dunn and various area professionals. Participants learn about a wide range of business principles relevant to their industry.

Under the leadership of Diversity Director Marvin Carolina, the program has been applauded by participants, corporate leaders, and the communities it operates in. “Before the class I had no contracts or practical information, but I was able to build a track record with JE Dunn,” said Lewis Block & Supply Co. President Dwayne E. Lewis. “Now, I’d guess I’ve been involved in as many as 125-200 projects as a materials supplier.” As a reward for the efforts of the program participants and leaders, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce recognized JE Dunn as the 2014 Business Champion of Diversity.

As we reflect on the previous decade, and how far the MCBD program has come since its inception, we can’t help but give thanks to the outstanding, dedicated participants that have graduated from programs around the country. Without their hard work and commitment we would not be able to enjoy the success that we see today.

To celebrate this ten-year milestone, a special graduation event is being held at the Arts KC Facility in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. The event will serve as both a graduation for the newest class of participants, as well as a reflection on the program's evolution through the years. The event will take place on October 12 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. To learn more or RSVP, please contact Nakisha Bausby at Nakisha.Bausby@jedunn.com.