Clark Construction says it joined business leaders and city officials from the Bay Area and nationwide at the National Minority Contractors Association (NAMC) conference in mid-June, celebrating 50 years of advocacy on behalf of minority contractors, including woman- and veteran- owned businesses.
“For a group founded in Oakland in 1969, it’s fitting NAMC has chosen to celebrate its 50th birthday in the Bay Area,” said Pete Varma, president of NAMC’s Northern California chapter and co-chair of the event.
The NAMC is the oldest minority construction trade association in the United States, and a leading advocate economic advancement for disadvantaged businesses. Through its local chapters and the support of its corporate and public partners, NAMC works to promote and enhance opportunities and capacity building programs for minority-owned businesses and their communities, including the nation’s 25 million minority construction workers.
Featured speakers included former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Jr. and Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain. NAMC’s positive economic impact on the many communities they serve, and on the growth of the construction industry itself, were recurring themes.
“NAMC has a deep-rooted legacy and a mission to promote quality of life and wealth generation within our companies and communities,” said NAMC national president Wendell Stemley. “New paths to success require enhanced expertise, lean management, increased productivity and the utilization of cutting edge technology.”
Speakers acknowledged the progress that has been made in expanding opportunities for disadvantaged businesses to be included in large scale and prominent construction projects, but also underscored the need for greater economic access, particularly in the tech industry. “The reality is that firms and small contractors owned by minorities are still regularly shut out of all facets of construction projects,” noted Varma.
Clark Construction and Mortenson Joint Venture was recognized for its contributions to diversity and inclusion on the Chase Center Arena project, and awarded the NAMC Development Team of the Year Award jointly with its partners on the Golden State Warriors Development Team. Clark Director of Community Engagement and Conference Co-Chair Marivic Bamba Chennault highlighted Clark’s commitment to partnering with businesses that reflect the diversity of the communities in which they build.
“We don’t believe ‘good faith’ efforts are enough; instead we draw upon our best practices that allow us to maximize diverse and minority business participation. These include building the capacity of diverse and minority businesses through our comprehensive small business training program,” Bamba Chennault said. “We strive to make a positive economic impact in each of the communities where we work, from the physical landscape to working alongside local diverse businesses and residents to build and deliver a project.”
Clark senior vice-president Mike Ricker, who also was a panelist at the conference, said, “Clark’s longstanding core value of corporate citizenship aligns with NAMC’s mission to provide meaningful opportunities for minority, women and diverse businesses. We are not only proud to have NAMC members work on a number of our projects, we are also pleased to serve as a major corporate partner and member of the Board of Directors of NAMC in Northern California.”