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August 5, 2006

Builder Working to Change Field’s White-Male Image

The NY Times
By Anthony Ramirez

In the world of big construction, contracts to lay foundations, hang drywall, install windows and the like often go to two kinds of companies: those owned by white males and bigger ones owned by white males.

Forest City Ratner, one of the latter, is trying to modify that image. As it moves forward on its $4.2 billion project to develop the 22-acre Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, the company hopes to diversify the pool of potential contractors by offering a training program for smaller businesses to give them a better chance at competing.

And it hopes to calm some critics of the project by showing it is working to provide jobs to blacks, Latinos and others in the area.

Forest City Ratner and its partner, Turner Construction, helped organize a special eight-week instruction program at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, which held graduation ceremonies this week.


NoLandGrab: Forest City Ratner has a better track record than most developers for hiring women- and minority-owned businesses. That being said, none of the three companies mentioned in this article as participants in the FCR/Turner program are from Brooklyn.

The question remains as to whether this program will satisfy the goals of Forest City Ratner's group, Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development, whose mission is two-fold: to increase contracts to minority-owned businesses, and to deliver jobs to people in the neighborhood.

Posted by lumi at August 5, 2006 9:33 AM