Personality: Gracetta Washington-Young

Spotlight on the new president of the Central Virginia Business and Construction Association

7/15/2016, 9:41 a.m. | Updated on 7/15/2016, 9:46 a.m.
Gracetta Washington-Young believes Richmond’s African-American and minority-owned businesses should have a greater voice in their own development.

Gracetta Washington-Young believes Richmond’s African-American and minority-owned businesses should have a greater voice in their own development.

As the new board president of the Central Virginia Business and Construction Association, Mrs. Washington-Young plans to help members of the 27-year-old association amplify their individual and collective voices and increase CVBCA’s visibility. “We can no longer depend on others to do for us what we can do for ourselves,” says Mrs. Washington-Young, who was installed in the leadership position in May.

“We need to find ways to create and be in control of our future. As we are developing a strategic plan and advocating for equal access and opportunity, we are teaching our members to utilize their businesses to contribute to the economic viability in the communities around them and the communities they live in.”

Founded in 1989, CVBCA promotes economic parity for minority-owned businesses. Most of the organization’s 125 member businesses represent the construction and service industries.

Under Mrs. Washington-Young’s leadership, CVBCA members are being encouraged to invest in communities by building partnerships with larger corporations and by giving back to the community through mentoring and training programs for area youths.

“Our goal is for CVBCA to be a positive change in our communities and to have a profound and lasting impact on the citizens in those communities.”

Such goals are important to help offset the disparities often found among minority businesses when seeking and securing contracts in the Richmond area, says Mrs. Washington-Young. She believes increased exposure to contracting opportunities will help offset such disparities.

Mrs. Washington-Young owns J&G Consulting Services LLC, which designs and constructs security systems for churches and develops workforce training programs for disadvantaged populations. She says that as the local economy continues to improve, more work will be available for the area’s skilled workforce.

“We want our members to be ready to take advantage of these opportunities as they become available,” says Mrs. Washington-Young.

Emphasis will be placed on members landing contracts for large-scale projects such as Dominion Resources Inc.’s new office tower at 111 S. 6th St. The new building is scheduled for completion in early 2019.

With a branding campaign for CVBCA in the works, along with an improved construction environment, Mrs. Washington-Young says the future is bright, particularly for women in the construction industry.

“There are plenty of opportunities for women in construction as owners and skilled workers,” she says. “The pay scale for construction workers is usually at a livable wage. With many women as the head of their household, this would be a great opportunity for them.”

This week’s Personality, Gracetta Washington-Young, is big on minority business:

Date and place of birth: Dec. 23 in Los Angeles.

Current residence: Chesterfield County.

Education: Attended Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill.; 2009 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond.

Family: Husband; J.D. Young; two daughters, Gracie Bogar and Jessica Givens; two step-daughters, Kimberly Young and Aalyia Golden; and four beautiful grandchildren.

CVBCA’s mission: To promote the values of economic parity between businesses owned by minorities and to further promote the advancement of those businesses in the mainstream economy with a primary focus on the construction and service industries.