“10 years ago I was actually learning how to read,” says Charles Jones. “And since I couldn’t read I was always good with my hands. I knew one day I wanted to start my own business. Then I decided to take a chance to launch Charles Jones Contracting and it grew from there.”

Today, Charles Jones owns and operates a thriving business, Charles E. Jones Contracting and Remodeling LLC. He’d spent more than 20 years in the local laborers union, working on projects at Pittsburgh area hospitals and universities. Along the way, he built a network of colleagues to take on side jobs with. Eventually, he took the leap and started his own business. 

To get his company on the path to scalable growth, he connected with Bridgeway’s Building Inclusive Development (BID) Program and received help with his logo, branding, and website. “We were able to really help him get his business going,” said Entrepreneurship Hub Consultant Talpha Harris. 

“It started flourishing,” Jones said. 

Soon he was taking on jobs like a recent renovation in East Liberty, a collaboration between the BID program and City of Bridges. BID is a catalyst program for minority-owned companies in construction, contracting, and transportation. The program helps these companies advance in the marketplace by assisting with bid submission, networking, and capital. City of Bridges, a nonprofit that develops permanently affordable housing, also prioritizes minority-owned contractors. 

Jones and his team rehabilitated the previously vacant home, updating the floors, windows, mechanicals, and kitchen. The project is an example of the many positive outcomes a single project can have, affecting not just new homeowners but also the local economy that brings those homes to life. 

“It’s been a pleasure seeing Mr. Charles’ business grow,” Harris said. “He’s extremely busy. He has a ton of customers.” 

It’s a position that Jones is proud to find himself in. “Bridgeway opened the door for me to grow,” he said. 

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