Boston Contractor Academy

In partnership with

Grow your business. Get connected to projects.

Helping minority, women, and disadvantaged contractors get more work. Making buildings more energy and water efficient for Boston’s future.



The REALIZE Boston Contractor Academy is your chance to connect to several significant groups of building improvement contract opportunities for your business:

  1. $35 million of projects in about 70 Boston Municipal buildings
  2. Projects for Eversource energy efficiency programs in houses, apartment buildings, and commercial buildings
  3. Subcontracts with Suffolk Construction and other major construction companies
  4. Energy retrofits as well as new construction financed by MHIC and Mass Housing
  5. LEAN program retrofits through ABCD

Are you ready, willing, and able to step up and get some of this work?

The Contractor Academy will provide you and your business with:

  • Access to project opportunities in greater Boston doing energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, and building electrification and decarbonization
  • How-to business skills such as bonding and job estimation
  • Connections to financing opportunities
  • Access to consultants and mentors who can help you grow your business
  • Networking with decision makers who control pipelines of projects
"The Contractor Academy is a promising model to help local contractors build their businesses as we move towards carbon neutrality as a city."
—Celina Barrios-Millner,
Director of Equity and Inclusion,
Mayor's Office of Economic Development, City of Boston

It’s free, but we need your commitment:

The Contractor Academy will run for eight weekly 2-hour evening sessions beginning October 24 with a top-notch faculty of construction experts, business skills trainers, and people who control pipelines of projects. It is open to minority, women, and disadvantaged contractors whether or not you are officially designated with that status.

Please note: This is not a “one and done” training opportunity where you come to some sessions, and at the last one we shake your hand, and that’s the end of it. We’ll be providing between-session and follow-on consulting and mentoring services, access to financing opportunities, and connections to pipelines of projects.


Fall 2019 Contractor Academy Schedule

Session # / Date Time Location* Topics
1: Thursday, Oct 24 6-8 p.m. Madison Park Technical Vocational HS Boston Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Construction Forecast and Where to Connect to Opportunity
2: Wednesday, Oct 30 6-8 p.m. Madison Park Technical Vocational HS Procurement Process and Requirements for Participating in Projects
3: Thursday, Nov 7 6-8 p.m. Madison Park Technical Vocational HS Green/Energy Efficiency Building Standards and What It Takes to Perform These Projects
4: Thursday, Nov 14 6-8 p.m. Madison Park Technical Vocational HS Worker Safety and Site-Specific Safety Programs
5: Thursday, Nov 21 6-8 p.m. IBEW Local 103 Introduction to Labor Compliance, Local Hire, and Project Labor Agreements
Thursday, Nov 28:
No Session: Happy Thanksgiving!
6: Thursday, Dec 5 6-8 p.m. IBEW Local 103 Strategic Planning – What Is Needed to Make the Projects Happen?
7: Thursday, Dec 12 6-8 p.m. IBEW Local 103 Navigating Challenges to Securing Work
8: Thursday, Dec 19 6-8 p.m. Suffolk Construction Joint Ventures and CONTRACTOR ACADEMY COMPLETION NETWORKING CELEBRATION!

*Location addresses

Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, 75 Malcolm X Boulevard, Roxbury

Suffolk Construction, 65 Allerton St, Boston

IBEW Local 103, 256 Freeport St. #1, Dorchester


  • It says the course is free. Who is paying for it?
    RMI and ECC are able to offer the Contractor Academy tuition-free thanks to the support of our partners and several foundations that have an interest in climate change and in a fairer economy.
  • Do I have to be certified as a minority business enterprise (MBE), a woman business enterprise (WBE), or a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) to participate?
    No, you don’t have to be officially certified but we are aiming the Contractor Academy at those groups.
  • Will I get guaranteed projects if I participate?
    No, there are no guarantees, but we will help set you up to succeed, put you in contact with project decision makers, and help you connect with support resources. Then it’s up to you.
  • Can I skip sessions?
    Hey, we know things come up, but we’re looking for a group of contractors who will take this opportunity seriously and make a strong commitment to it.
  • Do I get any kind of certification?
    We may develop that in the future, but for now all we offer you is knowledge, support, and connections.

Who We Are

Rocky Mountain Institute is a leading practitioner in national and international energy efficiency and renewable energy. Emerald Cities Collaborative is a national nonprofit working in cities across the country to create high road local economies: sustainable, just, and inclusive. We are partnering with local organizations to offer the Contractor Academy for two big, urgent reasons. One reason is that we need more contractors who can significantly reduce energy usage in buildings in our communities to lower the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Everyone knows it’s our communities, especially communities of color, that are the hardest hit by environmental problems. The other reason is that we need to increase the number of thriving businesses in our communities to create wealth and put our people to work in good family-wage jobs.

Partners and Advisory Committee

Member Affiliation
Beverley JohnsonMassachusetts Minority Contractors Association
Brian DohertyBuilding and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District
Brooke WoodsonSuffolk Construction
Carlos Espinoza-TorroJamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation
Celina Barrios-MillnerCity of Boston, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Equity and Inclusion Unit
Dara FrederickSuffolk Construction
Donald GilliganNational Association of Energy Services Companies
Francisco VasquezEversource
Greg MumfordYouthBuild Boston
Kenell BroomsteinIBEW Local 103
Kevin McCaskillMadison Park Vocational Technical High School
Shelley WebsterIn Order Business Development Solutions
Shonte DavidsonEversource
Travis WatsonMass Housing Investment Corporation/ Boston Employment Commission
William StackEversource

Is this you?

  • You want to grow your business.
  • You want to take on bigger projects.
  • You'd like to develop some steady sources of projects, not just sell jobs one by one.
  • You'd like to bump up your margins just a bit, because your work is worth it.
  • You want to upgrade the skills of your people.


You spend a third of your time selling jobs, a third of your time doing or overseeing work in your field, another third hiring and managing your people and maybe subcontractors, and we didn't even get to buying materials, collecting from clients, doing the books, ... no end to it.

If so, you're not alone.

Where are you going to find the time to develop the strategy for your business, get new skills, explore the market? As one contractor put it, "I only have time to work in my business, not work on it."

Maybe you don't have the same access to project decision makers and big-time partners as some some other contractors.

You might find it harder than many other contractors to get financing like working capital and equipment leasing.

The Contractor Academy can get you the skills, the connections, adn the support you need to grow your business.

Will it happen? That's up to you.