October 02, 2006
Press Releases & News

Clark and D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission Launch LSDBE Strategic Partnership Program

BETHESDA, Md. – Clark Construction Group, LLC and the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission have launched a comprehensive initiative to enhance the capabilities of local, small and disadvantaged businesses in the Washington, D.C. area. The first Local, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (LSDBE) Strategic Partnership Program - developed in cooperation with the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) - started on July 11 with an orientation for the first 25 companies who are participating in the program.

“Clark Construction and the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission share mutual goals of strengthening the capacity of our LSDBE partners,” says William L. Talbert, CEO of Clark’s Mid Atlantic Region. “Clark is committed to building upon the success of our previous efforts to help LSDBEs foster long-term growth and build capacity in their businesses, which benefits the local economy and our clients.”

Clark has worked to maximize opportunities for LSDBE firms on some of the metropolitan area’s largest construction projects, including FedEx Field, the Verizon Center and the Washington Convention Center. In the last decade, Clark has awarded almost $450 million to LSDBEs in Washington, D.C. This program will supplement the company’s existing efforts to build capacity in the LSDBE community.

This latest approach to fostering small business development in Washington, D.C. will further efforts to meet the mandate by Mayor Anthony A. Williams and the D.C. City Council that the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission achieve 50% LSDBE participation on construction of the new Washington Nationals Ballpark currently under construction along the Anacostia Waterfront. Clark plans to expand the scope of this program beyond the Washington Nationals Ballpark project as part of its ongoing LSDBE outreach efforts in the Washington, D.C. area.

“The Sports Commission’s CEO Allen Y. Lew and its Board of Directors have stressed the importance of meeting the small business participation goals for the ballpark project,” says Courtland Cox, director of LSDBE development for the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. “The LSDBE Strategic Partnership Development Program will go a long way toward helping these participants learn the fundamentals of growing a business in today’s competitive environment and prepare them for future projects in the District and region,” says Cox.

“We are committed to working cooperatively with our LSDBE partners to increase the size, scope and scale of their operations,” says Wesley Stith, a vice president with Clark who works to maximize LSDBE participation on Clark projects and who helped to develop the program.

The 10-month program includes interactive classroom instruction, team projects and presentations. Course instructors include veteran Clark employees, local industry experts from companies such as McFarlin Insurance Agency, LLP and Schreiner Legge & Company, and faculty from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Participants will study topics such as: Project Management Fundamentals; Financial Statements and Accounting; Insurance and Bonding; Architectural Blueprint Reading; and Estimating and Purchasing. In addition, monthly lunch seminars will be facilitated by community partners. The program also features a special session on Building Capacity for Sustainable High Performance, taught by Leonard Greenhalgh, professor of management at the Tuck School of Business, which consistently ranks among the top business schools worldwide.

“Clark Construction is displaying real vision by investing in LSDBE subcontractors,” says Greenhalgh. “This program, which combines the resources of Clark, the Tuck School of Business, and the MBDA, is a model for the industry.”

The program culminates with a presentation by each participating company to industry leaders. A mentor is working closely with each company throughout the program to offer guidance and support.

At the end of the program, participants will earn a certificate in recognition of their completion of the first LSDBE Strategic Partnership Program in the Washington, D.C. area.