TOCCI Selected as Recipient for Game Changer Award


Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Selects TOCCI as Game Changer Award Recipient

TOCCI has been honored by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce as an award recipient at the 6th Annual Game Changers Business Conference for their commitment to a diverse workforce at the Courthouse Lofts project. This adaptive reuse project converted the original Worcester County Courthouse into 118 mixed-rate units. Comprehensive compliance efforts and outreach resulted in a strong, diverse team, that masterfully tackled the challenges of converting the nineteenth century structure into upscale multifamily housing.

The Game Changers Business Conference seeks to connect members of the Central Massachusetts business community to learn about local innovations, business opportunities, and network with other professionals. The 2021 theme, “Planning for an Equitable Future: Economy, Justice, and Education,” is organized to promote discussions about diversity and inclusion in the workforce and beyond. Tocci is humbled to be recognized alongside fellow honorees who are themselves noted catalysts for change in the region.

Community outreach and compliance efforts at the Courthouse Lofts were led by Manager of New Business + Compliance, Tammi Gott. Gott fostered relationships with trade partners and union representatives, solicited job applicants onsite, orchestrated job postings, and ensured work hours were tracked and recorded monthly. Thanks to her efforts, Tocci ultimately exceeded hiring goals for each category including women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, and local hiring efforts.

Construction activity is a natural pathway for community economic improvement. By recruiting women and minority owned construction companies and promoting diversity in the industry, we aim to help open doors to more potential construction opportunities for them. This is a win-win.

Tammi Gott, Manager of New Business + Compliance

A win-win indeed – VJ Tocci, raves about the raw talent behind this team:

Adaptive use of an 1800s Courthouse is no easy feat; the ones who deserve credit for this are the tradespeople themselves. The skills required to achieve a masterpiece of reconstruction such as Courthouse Lofts are not found in just any contractor ‘off the street’. Worcester County and the surrounding communities should be proud that not only are they excellent workers who helped create a beautiful building, but they are clearly adept at the unique restoration skills that are not commonly found.

Specific shout outs to women-owned companies such as M & A Architectural Preservation (Sue Muckle) and Alternative Creative Energy & HVAC (Jodi Connelly), and minority-owned companies such as ADEP (Kelvin Severino), Fisher Contracting (Charran Fisher), and Masonry Doctor (Robert Atkins).

VJ Tocci, Project Executive

The private construction sector is working to catch up to the level of commitment to compliance in the public sector, and we are proud that our partners and stakeholders at the Courthouse Lofts are spearheading efforts to push this initiative forward. Trinity Financial, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, and The City of Worcester are doing their part to diversify and create opportunity across the board by holding compliance and DEI as a top priority and setting project goals and requirements, to hopefully create new standards industry wide.

TOCCI’s commitment to diverse hiring aligns with the goals of our project stakeholders, and to show our commitment the team has developed and implemented an internal compliance program which is key to ensuring a diverse workforce on every project. Tocci looks forward to continuing these efforts on current and future projects.