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CRA Held Up as Example for Aiding Minority Firms

A black contractor who has received work through the Community Redevelopment Agency, urges large white-owned contractors to follow the CRA’s lead in assisting minority contractors.

Craig Jackson, president of Sanders Engineering Co. of Los Angeles, says most minority firms will remain small unless the contracting industry lends a helping hand.

Jackson’s firm received a $990,000 air-conditioning contract for First Interstate World Center in downtown Los Angeles, thanks in part to the CRA’s program.

Jackson, a member of the board of directors of the California Assn. of Minority American Contractors, says that small size, coupled with lack of experience, prevents most minority firms from participating in major building and renovation contracts.

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Two things are needed, he says:

--Training of minority contractors, including a mentor relationship with large contractors.

--Developers requiring, or at least urging, contractors to use minority subcontractors.

F. Vinicio Mendez, program officer of the CRA’s minority business enterprise program, says $10 million worth of contracts were awarded to firms headed by minorities and women during the fiscal year from July 1, 1987, through June 30, 1988.

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This represented 36% of the total value of all CRA contracts awarded during this period, compared to 31% last year.


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