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Construction Inclusion Week Webinar Series

Building Your Workforce Through Community Engagement

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Construction Inclusion Week Banner

Date: Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 Register Now
Time: 10 a.m. ET
Length: 60 minutes
Speakers: Aaron Haunhorst, ECI Construction Services; Marlon Mitchell, First Followers; Norman Ruano, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Andrew Wells, Chicago Urban League
Moderator: Alicia Martin, ABC Illinois


Webinar Description

Learn strategies to put top talent on the field by engaging community and faith-based organizations. Establishing these relationships increases awareness of the merit shop philosophy and creates the opportunity for a more inclusive and diverse construction workforce. Hear from Illinois community leaders who have successfully recruited participants from their own constituencies to participate in ABC Illinois grant-funded training programs—achieving sustainable outcomes and strengthening trust-centered relationships in communities across the state.



Aaron Haunhorst is president of ECI Construction Services. He has been serving the construction industry and multiple ABC chapters for over 20 years. Haunhorst has also sponsored and supported multiple pilot/veteran programs for ABC apprenticeship training since 2013. He is presently housing the current cohort for the Community Builders program in the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, area.

Norman Ruano, deputy director of the Office of Illinois Works at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, oversees a new portfolio of programs focused on bringing equity and inclusion to the state’s construction industry and the trades. He has over 20 years of experience in the creation and implementation of construction workforce development programs for underserved community members and training programs for minority-, women- and veteran-owned construction businesses.

Andrew J. Wells is an entrepreneur, executive, author, publisher and thought leader. He created and led several workforce, sales and marketing, fundraising, and business development projects for numerous for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Wells’ most notable characteristics are empowering and advocating for others. He continues to help thousands of youth and adults achieve personal growth and economic advancement by providing access to education, mentoring and employment and training.



Alicia Martin is president and CEO of ABC Illinois. Before Martin joined ABC Illinois in 2007 as vice president of membership and business development, she gained experience working for the State of Illinois, providing constituent support and as a juvenile probation officer/youth advocate in Morgan County, Illinois.

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