MTA Diversifies Contracting

(Photo via The Amsterdam News)

(Photo via The Amsterdam News)

The Metropolitan Transit Authority is in the forefront in New York in trying to help minority- and women-owned business enterprises get contracts, Cyril Josh Barker of the Amsterdam News reports in an article detailing the agency’s efforts.

The MTA has a small business mentoring program designed to help businesses with training programs and assistance in obtaining small business loans.

“Historically, the two main barriers that have hindered MWBEs are bonding and access to capital,” said Michael J. Garner, chief diversity officer of the MTA. “This program allows firms out there to take their destiny in their own hands. Not only is the MTA creating opportunities for MWBEs but also creating jobs as well.”

Projects for the program range from painting, concrete and masonry to electrical work and roofing. Since the program was started in 2010, MWBE participation has increased from 6 percent to 26 percent. More than 2,600 jobs have also been created.

The program has helped many businesses to become contractors for the MTA, which has numerous projects around the city available for minority- and women-owned businesses to participate in.

Yvonne Johnson serves as vice president of Reality Construction Inc. and won a contract to do concrete paving at rail stations. Her company is currently working on rebuilding two stairways at a station in Astoria, Queens.

“It was a great challenge, but the MTA has helped us become successful,” Johnson said. “Going through the program has allowed us to hire more people and have more revenue come in. This has also given us the opportunity to work on even bigger projects.”

To learn more about the MTA’s efforts to boost MWBEs, go to the Amsterdam News.

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