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SU partners with contractors’ organization to increase opportunities for minority contractors
SU partners with contractors’ organization to increase opportunities for minority contractorsOctober 31, 2005Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Syracuse University is partnering with the Minority Contractors’ Association of Central New York to increase the amount of construction and maintenance project work that minority contractors provide to the University. Since mid-September, representatives of the association have met weekly with SU officials to develop improved communication and process protocols.
“Syracuse University is committed to providing equal opportunity for all who come to work and study on its campus,” says SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “It is also important that this policy be extended to the construction contractors and subcontractors who engage in work for the University.”
The protocols reflect the University’s ongoing commitment to increase contracting and subcontracting opportunities for local minority contractors. The new measures will ensure a designated portion of campus construction is awarded to minority contractors.
“This is another strong step that Chancellor Cantor has taken and it is a milestone that should be replicated by other leaders in Central New York,” says Steven Coker, president of the Minority Contractors’ Association of Central New York. “This partnership makes good business sense, because it allows the University to impact our community by increasing minority involvement in capital projects. It is a real commitment to inclusion and will contribute to the health and growth of firms owned by our minority contractors and suppliers.”
In addition to encouraging minority participation in the construction workforce, the University has agreed to address the supply side of the construction businessand will work with minority businesses that supply goods and services. To date, the University has received qualifications information from approximately 20 minority contractors interested in obtaining additional project work from the University, and work packages have been put out to bid with several of the minority contractors.
“Syracuse University prides itself on creating diversity programs that excel at the campus level,” says Louis Marcoccia, senior vice president for Business, Finance and Administrative Services at SU. “We are now taking that vision to the logical and important next step of creating significant opportunities for minority contractors to compete for contracts on construction projects at the University.”
In addition to Coker, who is vice president of Five Star Construction Services, representatives from the Minority Contractor’s Association of Central New York involved in the talks include Sepp Herbert, president of A&M Electric; Jeff London, president of London Group; and Emanuel Henderson, Jr., president ofJ H P Industrial Supply Co., Inc. The talks have also involved Eric Beattie, director of Design and Construction at SU; and Allan Breese, director of the University’s Business and Facilities Maintenance Services.