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Global Minority Enterprise Council Established

WASHINGTON -  U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis Hightower, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the International TradeAdministration (ITA), the Tutor Perini Corporation, and the University of Southern California's School of Policy, Planning and Development have announced the nation's first program created to globalize the U.S. minority-owned construction industry by providing education, mentoring and procurement opportunities to minority-owned firms. Firms that complete the program will have the opportunity to compete for a minimum of $1 billion in Tutor Perini contracts, primarily international contracts, over a four year period.

"This program could not be more relevant in today's economy, where global competition is tougher than ever before," said Hightower. "President Obama has set a goal of doubling exports over the next five years though his National Export Initiative and we need every stakeholder in America actively engaged in re-building our economy to create new jobs." An unprecedented public-private program, spearheaded by the MBDA, the Global Construction Program will prepare 150 high capacity, minority-owned and operated general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to compete for construction opportunities worldwide. Participating firms will receive training, education and mentoring, as well as a new, broader source of contracting opportunities. Tutor Perini Corporation is one of the nation's largest global construction conglomerates and a leader in supplier diversity within the construction industry. "The Global Construction Program is designed to provide minority-owned firms with access to relationships, technical training, and skills to compete in the construction industry worldwide," MBDA National Director David A. Hinson said. "This is the first time in history that minority businesses will have access to global construction opportunities. Under the Obama administration we intend to support job growth by expanding export capability and by leveraging economic benefits of the minority business community - a community that adds $1 trillion in economic output to the nation. This program is the first of a series of programs designed to increase employment and capacity in the minority business sector."

"At the Tutor Perini Corporation, we pride ourselves on being a leader in diversity initiatives and truly believe this partnership will be a win-win for minority-owned construction firms and for us," said Richard Rizzo, Executive Vice President of the Tutor Perini Corporation. "For years we have developed a series of programs to foster the growth and success of minority-owned firms. This program provides the next level of support by helping these firms go global."

Included in the program are comprehensive quantitative and qualitative needs assessments, classroom training and distance learning, including: webinars and online self-study through USC; field and on-the-job training provided through Tutor Perini; and training on federal certifications that will allow participants to work on U.S. government-supported construction projects internationally.

"This partnership between USC, private business and the federal government will create thousands of new jobs within minority-owned construction companies by providing instruction, access and opportunity," said Tom Sayles, USC's vice president of government and community relations. "This program will create a path to compete for an estimated $1 billion in contracts all over the world in the next four years." In addition, Next Level Diversity, LLC will provide the administration of this program, Ralph G. Moore & Associates will conduct the needs assessments and the International Trade Administration will provide training on its global services and the global construction industry. The program is specifically tailored for minority general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Federal sector global contracts traditionally have an entry point eluding to even the best minority-owned firms. The cost of the program is $10,000 for general contractors and $7,500 for subcontractors and suppliers. The first class is scheduled to begin Oct. 3, 2010.

To participate in the Global Construction Program, applicant firms must be:

•Minority-owned (more than 50 percent) and operated, and certified as a minority enterprise or similar designation by NMSDC or have other recognized certifications, such as an SBA 8(a), program signed letter of enrollment, or a similar state-level minority enterprise certification;

•Willing to complete a business needs assessment;

•Operating an active construction or construction supply business and have been in this business for five years or more immediately preceding the submission of the application; and

•Performing and/or have performed at least $5 million on a single project if a trade subcontractor, or performed at least $10 million on a single project if a general contractor.

•There is significant growth in infrastructure projects globally -- from building roads and airports to commercial and public buildings.

Through this program, MBDA will further support the growth of minority-owned firms in the international construction arena. "By bringing Tutor Perini and USC into this program, we have created a new model for increasing the growth of minority-owned firms," Hinson said.



About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) The U.S. Commerce Department's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) serves minority entrepreneurs across America who are building and growing businesses. For the last 40 years, MBDA has promoted the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned firms. These firms are then better equipped to create jobs, impact local economies and compete successfully in domestic and global marketplaces. With a nationwide network of nearly 50 business centers and strategic partners, MBDA assists minority entrepreneurs and business owners with consulting services, contract and financing opportunities, bonding and certification services, building business-to-business alliances and executive training. 



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