Hill International, Inc., delivering the infrastructure of change, on Sept. 20 announced a partnership with the National Urban League. The partnership will focus on increasing diversity in the country’s construction workforce.

  • Hill International and the National Urban League have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Together, they will provide project management oversight to U.S. federal government agencies for initiatives related to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
  • The partnership will help ensure African Americans and other underrepresented groups have access to the thousands of new employment opportunities in the construction industry.

A memorandum of understanding between the two organizations sets out a determination to ensure employment opportunities emerging from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are open to people from all backgrounds.

The legislation, passed last year, includes approximately $1 trillion in new federal investment in America’s roads and bridges, airports, rail and transit, water infrastructure, resilience, broadband access and more. It is estimated that these investments will add around 2 million jobs per year over the course of the coming decade.

However, the construction sector is facing a serious skills gap. A recent report by McKinsey states that 402,000 construction positions remained unfilled at the end of October 2021, the second-highest level of unfilled positions recorded since data collection began. The same report also noted that 88 percent of the construction workforce is white, and 89 percent is male.

Hill International believes developing the sector’s workforce to be more representative of the country will help attract talent to the sector. In particular, the company wants to work with the National Urban League to improve access for African Americans and other historically underserved groups.

Hill International and the National Urban League have agreed to offer federal government agencies a joint PMO solution for the hundreds of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act projects that will shortly be underway. A key pillar of Hill’s PMO service will be to focus on diversity at every level of project delivery.

“Inclusivity is one of our company’s core values,” said Raouf Ghali, Chief Executive Officer of Hill International. “Creating a working environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed improves employee satisfaction, sparks innovation and delivers inclusive growth. The record investment by the U.S. federal government in infrastructure has initiated huge demand in the sector and will create thousands of new job roles. We need to make sure those opportunities are open to people of all backgrounds and I am delighted to be working with the National Urban League to make that happen.”

“We are excited by the opportunity to bring more diversity to the construction workforce, a sector that has struggled to attract African Americans and other underrepresented groups in the past,” said Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League. “I am confident working with Hill International and federal agencies, we can ensure taxpayer money is helping to create new, highly skilled jobs for all Americans.”