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What Black Leaders Need to Know about Construction

The stage is set for great community wealth. But, many leaders are clueless.

Some of the tough men who made construction their way of life are passing on their knowledge. Many of them own beautiful homes and have retired comfortably. Some continue to be active - advising companies looking to win bids. Being around means winning major contracts. Retirement also doesn't mean boredom and death. It means enjoying the wealth that was created in one of the most important industries in the United States. President Biden's $5.8 trillion fiscal 2023 budget included billions of dollars for highway projects - with $29 billion proposed for the National Highway Performance Program. This means funding for construction projects on interstates. The construction industry lost about 975,000 jobs in April 2020 alone according to the Associated Builders and Contractors. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries that played the most important roles in stabilizing the economy were healthcare, technology, retail, and construction. The construction industry now employ women in all positions. See: Those billions of dollars from the federal government will find it's way to companies like Raimore Construction in Portland - a prime general contractor working on the billion dollar I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project. Raimore is a Black-owned and operated company that has made inclusion and high quality work it's bailiwick. It's visionary leader is a real one.

Raimore Construction founder Jeff Moreland believes that Black communities can experience generational wealth through construction. People without any skills or degrees can earn a true living wage. College education brings engineers, financial risk managers, media experts, techies, and researchers to construction companies. The construction industry contributes greatly to employment rates because construction projects involve labor-intensive processes. This labor-intensive approach aids job creation - generating better than average income for carpenters, site overseers, transport workers, security personnel, etc.. Small community businesses participate as subcontractors. However, it's the outcome that is most important. A community that is gaining wealth has less crime and broken families. More money to families also means better education for children. Good income for adults and great education for children create unlimited positive outcomes for communities. The old tough construction men are now in retirement. They came up knowing about the great economic debates of Booker T. Washington, Dr. DuBious, and the honorable Marcus Garvey. The elders got to witness Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip Randolph fight to carry those ideas into action. Leaders must now help the next generation of Black companies win prime contracting opportunities that the civil rights leaders fought for and the current elders could only dream about. [Blog Watch:]


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