St. Louis, Mo. – A 17-year-old union construction industry business support program for minority- and women-owned contractors is fortifying operations to ensure its continued success. The Regional Union Construction Center is now a division of the St. Louis Small Business Empowerment Center, tapping its resources to grow its capacity to serve more companies.

Launched in 2006 by the venerable labor-management group Saint Louis Construction Cooperative

(formerly PRIDE of St. Louis, Inc.), RUCC helps minority- and women-owned union construction companies sustain and grow businesses via a structured program that helps them improve their business skills. Using volunteers from the area’s most successful construction-related businesses, including law firms, accounting firms and construction firms, it mentors entrepreneurs with business advisory boards.

“RUCC and the St. Louis Small Business Empowerment Center have a common mission to create more robust businesses,” said IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs who serves as president of the RUCC board. “As a division of the empowerment center, RUCC is poised to help even more entrepreneurs reach their goals of building sustainable businesses.” Since its launch in 2006, RUCC has help more than 18 entrepreneurs strengthen their business enterprises, including Brandt Construction, BAM Construction, Penn Services and Elastizell.

“The RUCC program has been highly successful and won’t change under the St. Louis Small Business Empowerment Center,” said Kevin Wilson, executive director, St. Louis Small Business Empowerment Center. “But with our staff of 10, our connections and resources, RUCC will have a greater capacity to serve those who yearn to own and operate a successful business.”

Founded in 2013, the St. Louis Small Business Empowerment Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping strengthen the small business community through education, access to capital and business coaching. Entrepreneurs interested in receiving the services provided by RUCC may contact Kevin Wilson at (314) 252-8547 or Wilsonkr@stlouissbec.org. Learn more at www.stlouissbec.org.