Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Companies Complete Innovative Program Designed to Help Them Grow Their Businesses
The first seven protégé companies to participate in the Port Authority’s three-year-old Mentor-Protégé Program will complete the program with a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, April 5, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Essex Room of the Hilton Newark Gateway Hotel in Newark, N.J.
The program helps certified minority- and women-owned construction firms improve their management, organization and construction skills, bolstering their ability to compete for Port Authority and other organizations’ construction contracts.
“This has turned out to be very successful,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “The more experienced companies have acted as mentors to the newer ones, giving them the benefit of their business and construction knowledge and skills. Through this program, we have begun to increase the number of minority-owned and women-owned companies prepared to bid on larger construction contracts with the Port Authority and other public and private organizations.”
“This is an innovative way to help level the playing field for small companies and improve employment opportunities for our residents,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano. “Minority- and women-owned businesses and the jobs they produce are extremely important to New York’s economy. That is why Governor Pataki renewed Article 15A this past year, and why New York State is making significant progress in reaching out to more firms to make certain that they know all we have to offer them to help grow their businesses.”
Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “I would like to express the Port Authority’s appreciation to the staff members of the 10 large construction companies who unselfishly volunteered as mentors, sharing their acumen and expertise with the seven smaller companies. This is another example of how our agency, working with our public and private sector partners, can help to strengthen the regional economy, create new business opportunities and broaden workforce participation.”
The graduating protégé companies are NCC, Inc.; Aurora Electric, Inc.; Jody Builders Corp.; Sharon Construction Corp.; JCF Electric, Inc.; MZM Construction Company, Inc.; and Phillip Fordyce Construction, Inc.
The mentor companies are Turner Construction Company, Inc.; RCC Electric Inc.; RCC Builders and Developers, Inc.; Perini Corp.; Tishman Construction Corp. of New York; KEVCO Electric, Inc.; Twin Towers Enterprises, Inc.; Granite Halmar Construction Company, Inc.; Conti Enterprises, Inc.; and VRH Construction Corp.
Judith Flynn, President of mentor company, KEVCO Electric, Inc., said, “The program has given me the opportunity to learn from the protégés and other mentors. The questions asked and problems posed supplied me with fresh ideas about how to reinforce my own company’s structure, systems and programs, and my own values as well.”
Bernadette S. Jeronimo, President/CEO/CFO of JCF Electric, Inc., said, “Thanks to the help of my mentor Judith Flynn, I have had the opportunity to network with other protégés and made new business contacts. I am grateful for the chance to take advantage of Ms. Flynn’s vast knowledge and experience. As a fellow female contractor, she is able to identify with my business-related experiences. Furthermore, she has introduced me to many of her clients, some of whom I expect to do business with in the future.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the New York Container Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.