Press Release Article
PORT AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES 28-PERCENT INCREASE IN CONTRACTS AWARDED TO MINORITY, WOMEN-OWNED AND SMALL BUSINESSES
Date: Apr 05, 2001
Press Release Number: 56-2001
Prime and subcontract contracts awarded to minority, women-owned and small businesses rose by 28 percent from 1999 to 2000, reaching nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, the Port Authority announced today at its monthly board meeting.
The $242 million in contracts awarded by the Port Authority to minority, women-owned and small businesses shatters the record mark set in 1999, when $189 million in contract work was awarded.
\"This announcement demonstrates that the Port Authority is helping to deliver one of the top priorities of my administration: economic development and jobs for all,\" said New York Governor George E. Pataki.
Acting New Jersey Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco said, \"I\'m pleased the Port Authority is aggressively working to expand opportunities for minority, women-owned and small businesses.\"
Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg said, \"The true impact of the contracts is measured in the differences made in people\'s lives, in the 3,550 jobs that paid $140 million in wages and spurred $375 million in economic activity throughout the Port District.\"
Incoming Port Authority Executive Director Neil D. Levin said, \"It is important to note that the final figures for 2000 show record levels of contracts awarded to minority, women-owned and small businesses in nearly every one of our contract categories.\"
Among the highlights:
· Subcontracting contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses were up 60 percent over 1999, to $75 million.
· Prime construction contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses were up 7.1 percent over 1999, to $71 million.
· Goods and services contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses were up more than 36 percent over 1999, to $26.4 million.
· Goods and services contracts awarded to small businesses were up 26 percent over 1999, to $29 million.
· Architectural and engineering services contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses were up 70 percent over 1999, to $14.6 million.
Ching Chen, owner of Imperial Development & Construction in Livingston, N.J., praised the aggressive outreach of the Port Authority\'s Office of Business and Job Opportunity, which recruits and encourages minority, women-owned and small businesses for Port Authority contracts.
\"The process is very fair, and from time to time the Port Authority has smaller projects that big contractors may not want, but are very important to businesses of our size,\" says Chen, whose firm employs up to 20 people in busy construction periods.
\"We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Port Authority since 1994. We look forward to working with the Port Authority for many years to come,\" adds Chen, whose firm is working on redevelopment construction projects at Newark International and LaGuardia airports.
Suedatt Singh, Project Manager for Imperial Development & Construction Corp., says his firm has done work at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the George Washington Bridge, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Port Newark.
\"These contracts provide income not only for ourselves, but also for our employees,\" says Singh, whose Ozone Park, Queens-based company, which employs as many as 30 people, has been doing contract work for the Port Authority for about a decade.
To attain its diversity goals, the Port Authority operates Business Outreach Offices in Jamaica, Queens, Washington Heights, and Newark, N.J. These offices provide information on contracting opportunities, financial and technical assistance, business and labor development programs, seminars, workshops and referral services.
The bistate agency also works in partnership with community-based strategic partners, including the Jamaica Business Resource Center and the New Jersey Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.
The 2000 statistics were reported today to the Port Authority\'s Board of Commissioners by the agency\'s Office of Business and Job Opportunity, which was created more than 25 years ago to help advance regional economic development by increasing the participation of minority-owned, women-owned and small businesses in Port Authority contracts.