All Articles Tagged "construction industry"
(Afro) — In an effort to spearhead a change in the way construction companies do business in the District, Mayor Vincent C. Gray has launched an ambitious pilot project. This new initiative, called the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP), attempts to directly link more D.C. residents with jobs in the local construction industry. WIP, slated to begin on June 20, will simultaneously address school infrastructure improvement needs and increase hiring of workers living in economically disadvantaged wards. It is being promoted as a “summer construction jobs program” only for city residents that are 18 years or older. Officials believe with thousands of youth in that age range being denied job opportunities in the District’s regular summer youth employment program, many will take advantage of this project, as well as skilled adults looking for work. “As everyone is well aware, the unemployment rate in the District is staggering, and in some parts of our city it’s as high as 28 to 30 percent,” said Gray in a press release announcing the plan. “My administration is committed to finding both short-term and long-term solutions to workforce development, job creation, education and training opportunities for our residents.”
(Buffalo News) — S&W Contracting of Western New York, a family business, began in 1999 with 18-year-old Shandra Spicer and her parents cleaning and painting empty units in area apartment complexes. Their efforts generated $29,000 in revenue that year. A decade later, S&W had grown into a general construction contractor and commercial janitorial services company with 27 employees and revenue of $1.7 million. In 2010, the company made $2.1 million. The rapid expansion of S&W landed it at No. 47 on this year’s Inner City 100, a list of the country’s 100 fastest-growing inner-city businesses published by Fortune magazine. S&W, located at 693 Seneca St. in the Larkin district, is featured in the current issue of Fortune, along with other small businesses that are thriving despite often being in economically depressed surroundings. According to Fortune, S&W had a five-year annual growth rate of 33 percent.
(The Pilot) — The “GWG” in GWG Wig Boutique in downtown Southern Pines stands for Gail Withers George and, she adds, “Go with God.” Gail has gone many places with God. In fact, the fashionista retailer with a brilliant smile owns a CV that reads like an African-American history timeline, beginning with her grandmother’s domestic employment and culminating in Winston-Salem’s Best Small Business award in 1993. That business, Temp Options, placed ex-convicts in construction jobs. When one didn’t show, Gail put on jeans and boots, reported to the work site at Baptist Hospital, donned a hard hat and demolished bathrooms.
“I love being an entrepreneur,” George says. She also loves independence. All of Gail’s businesses were opened with her own savings, not bank or other financing. Gail, an only child, was born in Salisbury but moved around. Her father was in the Air Force, and her mother worked for Honeywell. Gail calls her grandmother’s domestic employment a self-owned enterprise. As a student she held a variety of summer jobs, discovering that “you can’t make money working for $1.25 an hour.” Gail studied speech pathology at Boston College but itched to get out on her own.
(Washington Post) — Construction jobs in the Washington region are expected this year to grow significantly for the first time since the economic downturn, driven by current demand for apartments and anticipated future demand for low-priced single-family housing. Little by little, most sectors over the past several months have shown signs of recovery, with steady jobs gains in leisure and hospitality, retail and financial services. With the prolonged housing slump, though, construction has continued to lose more jobs than it gained.
(The Grio) — Former Marine Richard Bennett fought in America’s initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, eventually serving four years rebuilding the country’s decimated bridged and roads. Bennett returned home after suffering a spinal injury, and was unable to find work stateside — until word of Bennett’s determination inspired Craig Williams, CEO of a construction firm. Williams made Bennett commander of his own construction company, Fidelis, which has rapidly built a sturdy reputation in construction. In just one year, Bennett has developed an $8 million contract portfolio for Fidelis, largely through projects with the Veterans Administration.
(Washington Post) — D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown introduced a far-reaching proposal Tuesday that would require city contractors to guarantee that at least 20 percent of their workforce lives in the city, a percentage that grows dramatically for construction projects. Brown’s legislation would not only overhaul a 1984 law that set hiring requirements for District contractors but also would set the stage for a debate over how to lower the city’s high unemployment rate.
(MyFox Tampa Bay) — He started small and now big things are happening. Frank Kendrick’s success story is testament nothing can hold anybody back — certainly, not the color of their skin. Frank is determined, and his message is What’s Right with Tampa Bay. Kendrick defied the odds many black males face when they’re born by a single mom, and the middle child of many siblings. ”There were five of us, and I was the only boy. And we were living in a one-bedroom apartment with my mom. She was on the couch and all of us were sleeping on the big bed,” he remembers.
The Question: Why did you start the company?
The Answer: I started the company because I realized there’s a huge disparity with minorities participating in the construction industry. I first started working as an advocate for minority contractors several years ago while I was working at the NAACP. Back then, we partnered with Case Western Reserve University to create a supplier diversity initiative council. Today, the main part of our business involves compliance and monitoring projects for major corporations and nonprofit organizations, including Cuyahoga Community College, University Hospitals and developer MMPI. But about 20 percent of our business entails helping minority and female-owned small businesses with business development. Then we help identify bid opportunities.