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Columbia University and Diversity Agenda Host the Launch of Columbia’s Construction Diversity Initiative

The construction industry in the New York metropolitan area is undergoing one of the largest expansions in history. With more than $200 billion worth of projects planned over the next five years, improving diversity and inclusion efforts in the industry will not only dramatically expand business opportunities for diverse stakeholders but ultimately expand and build the industry itself. 

The Fall 2019 issue of Diversity Agenda magazine features details on the launch of the Construction Diversity Initiative (CDI), co-hosted by Columbia’s Construction Administration M.S. program in August. The CDI is a first of its kind interdisciplinary research, policy, and training initiative within Columbia University that aims to deploy and transfer knowledge related to improving diversity and inclusion in the region’s building industries. Working together, Francisco Pineda, Faculty & Academic Director of the Construction Administration M.S., Tanya Pope, Columbia’s Assistant Vice President for Supplier Diversity, and Dr. Renee Sacks Diversity Agenda Publisher, designed a new framework for creating positive change and growth for small and medium-sized businesses in construction.

Considering the large pipeline of construction projects being planned in our region, there is no better time to support our regional talent base, and further integrate our diverse constituents and stakeholders into the extraordinary modernization programs in our city and state.

Francisco X. Pineda, Faculty & Academic Director, Construction Administration M.S. Program

“What we are trying to do is bring together City and State agencies, the regional educational institutions and the construction industry,” said Dr. Jason Wingard, Dean of Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. “Through this initiative, we are focusing on exposing education to a wider set of non-traditional students, and we are tasked with helping MWBEs, veterans and diverse populations break through large scale construction projects – and it will take this ecosystem of working together to create change.” 

A lack of data and evidence-based analysis often hinders progress in efforts to diversify the industry. Conceptualized to address these challenges, the CDI’s research agenda focuses on learning, training, and development; investigating key diversity research questions; and data collection and analysis. 

Read the full article in Diversity Agenda magazine.

Learn More about the CDI 

For an overview of the purpose and scope of the Construction Diversity Initiative, read the brochure.