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Contact(s):Odies Wilson III
501-371-4890

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CITY OF LITTLE ROCK, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ANNOUNCE MBE CONSTRUCTION MENTORING PROGRAM

(Tuesday, October 14, 2008) – “From the earliest days of the construction industry in ancient civilizations, mentoring new talent has been the foundation of the industry,” noted Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “That is why, I am pleased to announce that local leaders in the construction industry are taking part in a MBE Construction Mentoring Program to give minorities in the construction industry the chance to learn more about the industry.”

Nine of Central Arkansas’ leading construction companies will embark on a one year mentoring program. Each company has agreed to mentor up to two MBE (Minority-owned Business Enterprises) construction companies. According to Bob East of East-Harding, Inc., “The mentors have committed to act as mentors, share their business and construction expertise, and provide sub-contracting opportunities and crucial industry exposure.”

“I am pleased,” East continued, “that so many of my colleagues have joined me in taking this step to ensure a stronger construction industry for the City of Little Rock and the State of Arkansas. In addition to mentoring, each of the construction executives will be serving on a committee which will implement the program and evaluate it after one year.”

“This is an exciting day,” said Dexter Doyne of Doyne Construction. “When I was getting started in the construction industry, I was fortunate to have some outstanding mentors like Bob East and the late Bill Clark. Because of those experiences, I have been able to build a career in the construction industry.”

“I am pleased to see a system put in place which will enable others to have the same opportunities that I had,” Doyne continued. “I am also privileged to be able to return the favor by serving in a mentor capacity now.”

Mentors in the program will provide “on-call” availability of a professional representative whose commitment to MBE contractors involves a range of advice from project planning to estimating, bidding, and project close out, along with sharing a broad range of other important general and trade contracting information.

During the one-year program period, MBE contractors will participate in seminars, information exchange sessions and mandatory curriculum classes. Additionally, MBE contractors will be exposed to networking events where they interact directly with well-known players in the industry, make formal presentations and secure the business connections and know-how necessary to further develop their business. They will also be encouraged to form partnerships with other MBE contractors to expand their respective capabilities.

Rep. Nancy Blount of Marianna introduced legislation in the 2007 legislative session to create a Small Minority Contractors Surety Bonding and Mentor Protégée Training Pilot Program with the Department of Workforce Education. At the press conference, she noted, “This is exactly what I had in mind when I sponsored the legislation. I know my colleagues in the legislature share my enthusiasm that Little Rock and the construction industry have created this program. This will help not only Little Rock, but all of Arkansas.”

The members of the MBE Construction Mentoring Program committee are: Bob East, East-Harding, Inc.; Scott Copas, Baldwin & Shell Construction; Lloyd Garrison, CDI Construction; Danny Wright, Diamond Construction; Dexter Doyne, Doyne Construction; Mike Griffin and Brode Morgan, Garver Engineers; Doug Wasson, Kinco Constructors; Lewis May and Ernie Cline of May Construction Company; Bill Hanna and Lonnie Williams, Nabholz Construction; and Anthony Brooks, Platinum Drywall.

“I am grateful to the participating firms. It represents a major commitment on their part. After the first year pilot program, I hope this will expand outside of Little Rock and to other industries,” said Mayor Stodola.

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