Strategic Pathways Group, a Minority-Women-Led Business, Creates Infrastructure to Achieve New York State MWBE Goals for Downstate Gaming Market

Effort Develops Small Businesses lead by Minorities, Women, and Veterans to partner with Las Vegas Sands development at the Nassau Hub

Uniondale, NY (March 1, 2023) – Today, Strategic Pathways Group and Las Vegas Sands announce a first-of-its-kind member-to-vendor program in partnership with the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and the Building and Construction Trades of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, AFL-CIO, which represent 250,000 and 65,000 working families respectively. The effort will guide and certify union members who wish to launch their own MWBEs (Minority and Women Business Enterprises) and SDVOBs (Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business), empowering them to participate in a highly anticipated procurement process that could take place if the Sands proposal for a multi-billion-dollar integrated resort is approved.

“When I signed on to work with Sands, one of the things I found most compelling was their desire to go beyond the state’s expectation as it concerns MWBEs, and truly create an inclusive proposal that would benefit all of Long Island’s diverse communities,” said former New York State Governor and Senior Vice President for Sands David Paterson. “This partnership allows Sands to play a crucial role in the creation of new unionized, minority, women, and veteran-owned companies that can help us deliver a world-class project for the region.”

“I’m extremely proud and honored to spearhead this first-of-its-kind collaboration which has the potential to become a national model for any development to meet the new market and regulatory realities. This four-way collaboration between Sands New York, NSBCTC, LI Fed, and Strategic Pathways Group proactively addresses historically exclusionary processes,” said Angelina Ramirez, Partner of Strategic Pathways Group.

Strategic Pathways Group, a minority, women-led business was engaged by Las Vegas Sands to lead the DEI efforts including MWBEs and SDVOBs to secure valuable local, state, and federal MWBE certifications, as well as provide support services that will empower would-be entrepreneurs to realize their dream. With support from Las Vegas Sands, Strategic Pathways Group has enlisted the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and the Building and Construction Trades of Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties to assist union members who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs in its goal to:

  1. Grow the number of union vendors in New York State, to ensure the jobs created in this sector help to build vibrant communities.
  2. Create the entrepreneurial support necessary for New York State to meet, and over time, exceed the 30% MWBE goals in the downstate gaming market and beyond;
  3. Build a clear pipeline for MWBE firms who want to secure contracts with the Las Vegas Sands, and ensure that they are prepared, certified, and ready for business prior to construction

The member-to-vendor program will connect Strategic Pathways Group to entrepreneurs, and assist them with MWBE certification, mentorship, and compliance, all hurdles that often prove burdensome to new business owners. It will also serve to ensure that Sands’ proposed integrated resort project will be able to secure local contracts, protect workers’ rights, and enhance opportunities for labor’s diverse membership.

John R. Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO said, “This is another tool in our toolbox dedicated to building strong and vibrant communities across Long Island. The Sands partnership with Strategic Pathways coupled with access to our affiliates and their members has the potential to help diversify the small business community, assist current union members in realizing their entrepreneurial dreams, and introduce more employers to the marketplace who will manage their workforce with dignity and respect.”

“The collaborative model between private enterprise and labor could be a game changer for Long Island and a national model for future developments,” said Ron Reese, Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Corporate Affairs for Sands. “Not only could the Sands project create thousands of high-paying jobs, but this program ensures that local unions will continue to build Long Island and enable social mobility for members and their families.”

“I’d like to commend Sands for rolling the dice here on Long Island,” said Matthew Aracich, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. “Today we take the next step forward to redefine the landscape of Long Island’s workforce by fostering a new generation of entrepreneurs. This first of its kind program, will create a new pathway for men and women of color in the Building Trades who aspire to take the leap from member to vendor. It’s certainly not a gamble to make a real investment in our local community while we tackle diversity and inclusion by recruiting candidates who become union members.”

“In the last decade, minorities and women have been responsible for more than 50% of business creation in the US. This agreement now facilitates both the creation of thousands of union jobs, and many more minority and women-led companies within Long Island’s labor community,” said Tracey Edwards, Partner of Strategic Pathways Group and lead advisor for diversity, equity, and inclusion for Las Vegas Sands’ New York proposal.

This effort is the second announced by Sands aimed at building a strong network of small businesses and prospective talent on Long Island, with a special focus on minority, women and veteran owned entities. They are also working with Minority Millennials to build an employment pipeline and are planning their first virtual Procurement Academy for March 1, 2023, featuring Chief Procurement Officer Norbert Riezler. Registration for this event is open now at

About Strategic Pathways Group

Strategic Pathways Group is a minority and woman-led firm specializing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEl) practices. Our team is composed of subject-matter experts with over 40 years of industry experience in the public and private sectors, including Fortune 200, nonprofits, and public administration. Our ethos is to recognize the value of diverse voices, employees, and customer-bases. We bring those values to life by assisting our clients with the development and implementation of initiatives that actively make their offices more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.