In the American workplace, more and more emphasis is being put on the importance of diversity and acceptance in the workplace. It seems that new rules and regulations regarding gender equality, harassment prevention and overall political correctness are constantly being developed and redefined. One industry that has battled the reputation of discrimination and sexism is Construction. The claims of sexism and inappropriate behavior on the worksite have lingered even after years of reform and improvement efforts. Both labor and management were challenged to develop a workforce and image that shows that the negative stereotypes that have haunted them are in fact outdated and that their industry is as diverse and accepting as any other profession.
The IBEW’s Local 26 has one of the industry’s largest and most powerful memberships. Being located in Washington D.C., IBEW 26 is constantly working on government and public sector projects that require documented levels of diversity training before contracts are granted. Fighting to stay ahead in one of the countries most competitive construction labor markets, IBEW 26 board members joined with their union contractor partners, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), to develop a diversity training program.
After discussing the issues both IBEW and NECA felt most apparent, they had formed a general idea of what topics a diversity-training video program needed to cover. However, being contractors and construction workers by trade left them needing some assistance in how to actually execute the most effective program possible.
Having worked together in the past, IBEW 26 immediately knew that Oswego Creative’s experience in developing training video programs and solid understanding of the construction industry made them the best resource for this project. After providing Oswego Creative with their overall objectives, Local 26 turned the project over to Oswego Creative’s content development and video production teams. From these initial marching orders, the staff at Oswego Creative was able to quickly conceptualize the diversity-training program, identify diversity experts, storyboard the program, write and produce the program and implement the online delivery system for the training videos.
The final diversity program that Oswego Creative developed for Local 26 was a combination of studio sessions with diversity experts and Local 26 members as well as dramatic recreations of diversity-related scenarios. The final diversity program was delivered via the online delivery system and on DVDs accessible to the over 8,500 IBEW 26 members. Post-program data showed that 92.2% of program users were able to pass the final program examination. With the successful implementation of a comprehensive diversity program, IBEW 26 was able to stay competitive in the market by proving that their entire membership understood proper behaviors and was committed to creating a positive work environment for all.