- The Clark Construction Group has launched a small business initiative to expand opportunities for disadvantaged construction companies, including on projects that do not require inclusion goals.
- The SDBE15 program aims to encourage the participation of small, disadvantaged, minority and women-run businesses in Clark’s construction projects across the country. according to the press release.
- As part of the program, the Bethesda, Maryland-based company is committed to achieving at least 15% participation of small or disadvantaged businesses in all jobs, even those that do not have small business requirements. This approach involves subcontracting at all levels to drive opportunities for the largest number of businesses, the press release said.
The SDBE15 program is designed to expand and strengthen Clark’s existing network and promote long-term relationships with a number of different business partners, and is expected to generate approximately $ 250 million annually for small and disadvantaged businesses.
Other major construction companies have announced similar diversity initiatives in recent months. For example, AECOMs Launched in April, the Sustainable Legacies program includes goals for developing project teams that reflect the customers and communities it serves, and partnering with small and medium-sized businesses to create social value through positive investment in the community.
To determine the eligibility of a subcontractor, Clark uses existing federal, state, or local government certifications. The company’s construction projects with pre-established small business equity targets of more than 15% are not subject to this new standard. Clark’s project teams will work with the company’s dedicated subcontractor development group, costing and purchasing teams to develop detailed subcontracting plans for these small businesses, ranging from the follow-up phase to project execution.
The SDBE15 program is part of Clark’s holistic approach to developing and servicing small and disadvantaged businesses and complements the company’s established Strategic Partnership Program, an intensive Executive MBA-like development course for small business owners and executives. The competence and capacity building program, which is now in its 15thNS Year, has more than 1,250 graduates and is offered in eight markets across the country.
Clark has long offered disadvantaged contractors the opportunity to work on large projects. In the new terminal project at Kansas City Airport worth 1.5 billion Weitz | Clarkson, has provided a range of support services to more than 100 minority and women owned contractors.
Aiming to get a 20% stake in MBE and 15% in WBE, the team has deployed a variety of programs to remove barriers that typically affect these type of companies in obtaining contracts to work on projects of this scale, said Geoff Stricker, Edgemoor’s senior managing director, told Construction Dive.
The project team has set up a “Pay Without Delay” program to ensure that these companies are paid for their completed work within 14 days.
The Edgemoor team’s initiative also offered mentoring and employee training programs, and arranged low-interest loans to help small businesses acquire equipment and working capital.
“We really try to address all issues that affect men and women who want to work in construction, both from a personal and a business perspective,” says Stricker. “We recognize that with large contracts like these minority-owned and women-owned companies and other small businesses, they can do a lot of work when they have the opportunity.”