The Port of Long Beach (POLB) was among the initial agencies to sign the EIP Pledge as one of our First Mover agencies. Today, over 40 agencies, companies, and organizations in the infrastructure industry have also committed to the Pledge. But, signing the Pledge is just the first step. EIP is about action, and that’s what the Port of Long Beach is doing with the hiring of its first Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Procurement, Jennifer Kropke.
Reporting directly to the Port’s Executive Director, Kropke is responsible for ensuring “the Port’s commitment to utilizing diverse contractors that are representative of the community [it serves] by developing and implementing policies and procedures to achieve Port objectives and goals for DEI participation in procurement and contracting activities.”
This position was directly inspired by EIP’s mission to secure commitments from public agencies to increase the number, size and scope of contracts going to Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) by facilitating access and reducing barriers to compete for business. Doing so will build generational wealth and reduce the racial wealth gap in communities historically left behind.
Jennifer has just started in her new role, but she has already dived headfirst into EIP, actively engaging in our principals and deputies meetings and sharing valuable perspectives as she embarks on her pioneering role.
Congratulations to the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners and Port Executive Director Mario Cordero for this consequential action, and we look forward to working closely with Jennifer. Jennifer comes to the Port after serving in the Biden Administration as Director of Energy Jobs at the U.S. Department of Energy. Previously, she was the first Director of Workforce and Environmental Engagement for IBEW Local Union 11 and the National Electrical Contractors’ Association-Los Angeles’ Labor Management Cooperation Committee and led her own law practice. She earned her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
MORE ABOUT OUR COALITION
- “BNSF Bridge 81.4,” designed by key EIP partner HNTB, is honored in the June issue of Railway Track & Structures magazine as a Top Project of 2023.
- This month, EIP Pledge Signatory the Kansas Department of Transportation (KSDOT) hosted its MAGIC (Mentoring a Girl in Construction) summer camp. The camp introduces high school girls aged 14 or older to trade skill occupations such as carpentry, safety, electrical and highway construction and gives them a chance to learn from women already succeeding in these jobs.
- EIP Advisory Council Member Esther McGinnis, Executive Vice President & Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) at Gannett Fleming, recently took part in the WTS International Philadelphia chapter’s “Learn from a Leader” series, joining a panel focused on women and the C Suite. WTS International was founded in 1977 as the Women’s Transportation Seminar and today welcomes more than 8,000 members across 67 chapters.