Meet La Tanya Hawkins, Program Executive at the Construction Resource Center

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What is the Construction Resource Center?

The Construction Resource Center (CRC) is a place where residents can gain the skills necessary to build a successful career or business in construction-related fields. We provide a range of services that fall into three categories: in-person classes, online materials and a database of contractors that are available to work on local projects.

Tell us more about these services.

We offer classes that teach everything from how to start a business to managing expenses and overhead to project management. Our e-learning modules are available in English and Spanish and complement all of the in-person classes. Lastly, we offer employment and contract leads, vendor discounts and a contractor locator where the public can go to find licensed contractors in the area.

What type of clientele does the CRC serve?

We serve two groups: students/residents interested in expanding their skills, and General Contractors looking to grow or expand their business. Our educational services help individuals who are looking to develop the skills they need to enter into a construction related field. General Contractors come to us to look for local talent from our extensive database of skilled contractors and tradespersons.

How is the CRC connected to eQuip Richmond?

CRC is a project of the eQuip Richmond initiative, and one goal of eQuip, is to create a network of businesses that work together to build capacity and create sustainable employment for folks in Richmond and North Richmond. It really is about providing everything from support services for personal obstacles and barriers, to providing resources that address creating economic stability and income.

How does the CRC fit into the eQuip Richmond mission?

eQuip Richmond is a holistic approach to helping grow businesses in this community. The CRC works within the eQuip framework to provide a hub of knowledge and resources through our in-person and web-based programs, but also partners with other organizations within eQuip Richmond that provide support services to solve issues that traditionally become an obstacle for growing businesses or sustaining employment – such as access to transportation or treatment for substance abuse.

What is it like to have Chevron as a partner?

Awesome. At their core, Chevron is driven by their desire to help the community; they are very committed to supporting our efforts. They are very open to our ideas and have been instrumental in helping us build a better CRC. For example, Chevron helped us develop an online learning program where all of our materials could be accessed from home so we can better accommodate the needs of residents who stay home with children or work late hours.

What is the real Richmond to you?

I have never seen an entire community who is more committed to their residents and neighbors than in Richmond. I love partnering with the City of Richmond Employment and Training Department – the City staff are deeply invested in the community and provide the resources to residents that are necessary for success. The friendliness of the community is truly unique as well.

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