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City making progress on efforts to increase minority participation

In response to the march from 13th Street and Grand Avenue to City Hall this morning by minority groups protesting the lack of construction jobs on City-funded or assisted projects, City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen issued the following statement:

“Improving minority participation in our construction industry is a high priority. Contractors who work on City-funded and assisted projects have an obligation to attain certain hiring goals for minority hiring. I have been meeting for several weeks with representatives of management, labor and minority groups to address the issue as swiftly as possible. We are making progress and are close to announcing a plan to increase the number of minorities on City-related construction sites.

While we finalize our plan over the next few weeks, the City will send letters to all general contractors to inform them that we will begin a comprehensive monitoring program. Contractors and organized labor need to fully appreciate that the City takes this matter seriously and we will aggressively fulfill our oversight function to monitor minority hiring on construction projects, both large and small.”

Mayor Kay Barnes said, "I applaud the city manager's efforts to turn this situation around. We have to do better in the future. I appreciate the fact that the major contractors, along with organized labor, are very much engaged in an effort to work with us to increase the number of minorities and women on City-funded and assisted construction projects."

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