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Original Article by: Black Enterprise


The Lakeside Alliance construction manager of the Obama Presidential Center has launched a website to ensure minority subcontractors are hired to help build the $350 million project.

The site will share updates on how work is proceeding on the OPC to be built on Chicago’s South Side. It will provide more details about the alliance and what the subcontracting and hiring process will look like for the project. The alliance plans to hire various types of contractors, including electricians, plumbers, and drywallers to name a few.

Black construction companies including Powers & Sons Construction, UJAMAA Construction, Brown & Momen, and Safeway Construction make up the alliance. They are joined by Turner Construction.

The Obama Foundation is providing the minority firms with operations on Chicago’s South and West sides a 51% stake, while Turner Construction will get 49%. Work on the center is expected to begin later this year.

For the OPC, Lakeside Alliance members are committed to exceeding industry standards and surpassing their own milestones by awarding as much as half of the expected $300 million-plus of subcontracts on the project to diverse suppliers and ensuring that a significant percentage of the total project work hours are performed by minorities and residents from the project’s neighboring communities, officials say.

The Alliance plans to focus on hiring subcontractors from Chicago’s South Side to work on the project.

The new website will be continually updated. It eventually will connect community members, contractors, vendors, workers, and other visitors to information on how to get involved in the construction of the OPC as well as other helpful resources. This will include information on how to connect with skilled trade apprenticeship programs, local training organizations, and the City of Chicago’s Department of Procurement Services. That office has ample information on supplier diversity programs in the Windy City.

Now, the website has fillable forms for contractors, vendors, potential workers, and general inquiries. Contractors and vendors can use the forms to provide an introduction to their firms and schedule a one-on-one meeting with the Lakeside Alliance procurement team. Candidates interested in skilled trade opportunities or other positions related to the project can also submit an interest form.

Lakeside Alliance joins the community and the entire city of Chicago in the excitement and enthusiasm in building the Obama Presidential Center right here on the South Side,” Pamyla Brown, community and citizenship director at Turner Construction Co. stated in press release. “Lakeside Alliance and the Obama Foundation want this process to be as transparent, efficient, and effective as possible, which is why we are launching this new website. It will ensure that anyone and everyone interested in learning more or getting involved in the construction of the OPC will have access to the information and resources they need to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime project.”