CCDI names Missouri state senator as executive director

Brian Williams (Photo courtesy CCDI.)

St. Louis-based The Construction Career Development Initiative (CCDI), a 501 (c)(3) organization, appointed Missouri State Senator Brian Williams as executive director.

Sen. Williams has represented the 14th Senatorial District in St. Louis County since 2018 and will continue serving his constituents as he takes on this new role. He is the first black male to serve in the Missouri Senate in two decades.

In this newly created role, Williams will lead the existing CCDI team, spearhead the expansion and modification of the executive committee, oversee fundraising efforts, manage CCDI operations, and strengthen existing relationships while forging new ones. He also will be responsible for increasing the number of students and underrepresented adults that participate in CCDI, scaling CCDI with new talent acquisitions, and expanding the initiative to other markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Phoenix.

During his tenure in the Missouri Senate, Williams has enacted legislation facilitating access to pain medication for those with sickle cell anemia, safeguarded MO ABLE funds for disability expenses, and spearheaded the Capitol’s annual human trafficking awareness day. Before his Senate role, Williams served as a congressional staffer overseeing Missouri’s ACA Marketplace rollout under President Obama. Additionally, he contributes to community welfare as a board director for People’s Health Centers, where he helped develop a behavioral health care center for underserved children, and he is actively involved in various advisory boards.

Established by Clayco in 2015, in the wake of the tragic events surrounding the death of Michael Brown Jr. and the Ferguson unrest, CCDI has grown beyond the walls of Clayco to include additional general and subcontractors, such as PayneCrest Electric and icon Mechanical, two of the program’s largest champions. The program brings diversity to the design and construction industry by providing exposure, mentorship and career development opportunities to minority/underrepresented and underemployed men and women.

CCDI helps young adults overcome the barriers to success by pairing them with long-term career mentors, providing financial support, and creating job placement opportunities. CCDI includes partnerships with school districts, local leaders and other general contractors and subcontractors.

Initially launched in the St. Louis area, CCDI has helped more than 150 students find full-time employment in the trades and provided more than $500,000 in scholarships for students interested in pursuing two or four year degrees in a construction related field. To date, 64 students have received scholarships to continue their post-secondary education. CCDI has begun expanding beyond St. Louis to Phoenix and Chicago with plans for further growth in 2024.