Yolanda Jones owner of Yolanda Jones Construction Administration & Traffic Control (YCAT) built her business with her community in mind. With her roots in Bayview Hunters Point, Yolanda is dedicated to creating jobs and opportunities for local residents.
Yolanda first learned about running a small business – and caring for her community – from her father, a trucking company owner. Her goal was to follow the footsteps of strong women who came before her and worked hard to build a better future in Bayview Hunters Point: Eliose Westbrook, Espinola Jakson, and Ruth Williams, to name a few. Yolanda believes that her business has allowed her to build on their legacy.
My passion is to hire and help local minorities who are constantly overlooked. I have employed folks who were living on friends’ couches, transitional housing, public housing, and hotels. Now they own homes and apartments. I particularly remember hiring a gentlemen who just came out of prison, he was 52. It was his first job, and he now works at a bigger construction company. It’s like watering a plant and watching it grow,” says Yolanda. “I open my company doors everyday and watch people come to work, enjoy their jobs, improve their health. They can now afford a better lifestyle and send their kids to better schools. The society gave up on them a long time ago, but at YCAT, they are proving to the world that they are exceptional individuals who just needed a chance.”
Yolanda faced her own challenges on her way to success. She tackled them with an impeccable work ethic, persistence and her ability to garner support and resources she needed to manage and scale her business. Upon her husband’s recommendation, she contacted Renaissance Bayview and enrolled in the Center’s Contractors’ Initiative, then Women’s Program. Today Yolanda attributes her efficiency and effectiveness in communications, especially when dealing with other companies, to skills she gained at Renaissance.
When she’s not striking deals and managing her business with 22 employees, Yolanda spends time with her six children and five grand-children. With her family and community at the forefront, Yolanda defines success as, “being able to go home at night knowing that one less family is hungry.”
Yolanda’s success and a way of doing business is a testimony to the impact that small businesses make in their communities and the importance of providing small business owners with tools and resources they need to sustain and grow their businesses. Because when small business owners, like Yolanda, succeed, they create opportunities and lift up entire communities for generations to come.