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The Sherwin-Williams Partners with ULGC to Foster Economic Inclusion for Minority-Owned Construction Companies

The Sherwin-Williams Foundation has partnered with The Urban League of Greater Cleveland (ULGC) to develop and launch an innovative new Construction Accelerator Program (CAP) with the goal of driving long-term growth and success for Northeast Ohio minority-owned businesses.

"The Sherwin-Williams Foundation is pleased to partner with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland to positively impact the greater Cleveland community and support minority-owned business growth through fostering economic inclusion for minority-owned construction companies," said John G. Morikis, President of the Foundation, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Sherwin-Williams Company . "The CAP aligns well with our Company's commitment to create jobs and to positively impact the broader Cleveland and Northeast Ohio community, and we are excited to be on the ground floor of an instrumental program designed to accelerate the growth of minority-owned construction businesses for many years to come."

Over the next three years, Sherwin-Williams, a global leader in the paint and coatings industry, will make a significant financial commitment by investing a minimum of $600 million in its Building Our Future (BOF) global headquarters and R&D Center project, which includes meeting or exceeding robust economic inclusion requirements.

Through the pilot program, officially known as Construction Accelerator Program Powered by Sherwin-Williams, the Urban League will provide eligible minority-owned businesses with access to capital, mentorship, education on the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) process, construction management best practices and an opportunity to build capacity. The program will also focus on intense technical and human capital enhancement, enabling participating businesses to qualify for a working capital loan through UBIZ Venture Capital operated through the Urban League's Entrepreneurship Center.

"The Urban League is extremely excited to partner with The Sherwin-Williams Foundation on the Construction Accelerator Program because it directly supports our goals of economic inclusion and opens opportunities and access that will help reduce historical barriers that minority-owned businesses experience in the construction industry and across the board," said Marsha Mockabee, ULGC President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Construction Accelerator Program is targeting MBE-certified businesses in the construction industry who are in the growth or expansion phase, in business for at least three years, and meet a pre-determined minimum annual revenue threshold, in addition to other criteria.

Participating business owners will move through ULGC's UBIZ Accelerator Curriculum, helping to transform their business infrastructure and operations for success and sustainable growth. Upon completion of the program curriculum, graduates of the CAP program will be eligible to apply for the Access to Capital and Credit Enhancement Plan, a working capital loan through UBIZ Venture Capital or its investment partners.

"Cleveland needs programs that ensure opportunities for employment of its residents, as well as growth opportunities for its minority and female-owned enterprises," commented Tyson Mitchell, recently named Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) for the City of Cleveland. "We commend The Sherwin-Williams Foundation and ULGC for joining forces to establish this new program. Their joint initiative is strongly aligned with the City and the OEO's mission, and we're encouraged by the workforce pipeline the CAP creates for projects today and into the future."

The CAP is designed to incorporate strategies that will strengthen, accelerate and position businesses for next-level engagement in construction projects.