December 08, 2021
Press Releases & News

Clark Construction Celebrates 15 Years of Impactful Small Business Development Program, Unveils $2.5 Billion Subcontracting Pledge and New Educational Programming for Small Businesses

BETHESDA, MD - Clark Construction Group announced today its pledge to award $2.5 billion in subcontracts over the next decade to the graduates of its Strategic Partnership Program (SPP). The announcement came during the launch of SPP ENCORE, Clark’s new continuing education program for the more than 1,200 small and diverse business owners and leaders who make up the SPP alumni network. The pledge and new SPP ENCORE programming reaffirm Clark’s longstanding commitment to fostering inclusive growth within the construction industry. 

Clark founded the SPP in 2006 to increase the business acumen, confidence, and capabilities of emerging entrepreneurs to ensure they are well-positioned to pursue future opportunities on large-scale construction projects. Over the last 15 years, the executive MBA-style development program has expanded to serve small, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned firms in eight major markets across the country, including Washington, DC, Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orange County, California. Since the program’s inception, Clark has awarded more than $1.2 billion in construction subcontracts to SPP graduate firms. 

Clark’s CEO, Robby Moser, opened the inaugural SPP ENCORE conference by thanking attendees and reinforcing Clark’s commitment to enriching its relationship with program alumni across the country through ongoing educational programming and subcontracting opportunities.

Clark’s SPP alumni network features a broad spectrum of small businesses. While many of these entrepreneurs have realized steady growth since completing the program, based on more than 100 interviews Clark conducted earlier this year, their desire for continued learning and access to resources and economic opportunities to help take their businesses to the next level remains strong. Clark developed its SPP ENCORE programming to help bridge this gap and connect graduates to the resources, tools, and knowledge to achieve greater economic success. 

“Our SPP alumni are part of the larger Clark team and members of an esteemed network of business leaders who share a passion and drive for success,” said Robby Moser, chief executive officer of Clark Construction. “The ENCORE platform will foster continuing education and a greater sense of connectivity among our SPP network — one that will support relationship-building, information sharing, and strategic partnerships that will connect alumni to new business opportunities.”

During a panel discussion, six standout SPP alumni from across the country will share what it means to be a successful entrepreneur, talk through challenges that they’ve faced as business owners, and discuss what inspires them to continue to be a leader in the industry.

Clark launched its ENCORE programming today with a virtual conference, featuring keynote remarks from respected business leaders and public officials, including Jason Wright (President, Washington Football Team), Deryl McKissack (President & CEO, McKissack & McKissack), U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and Secretary Gina Raimondo (U.S. Department of Commerce).

“Changing the flow of capital is at the core of creating an equitable economy,” said Jason Wright, the president of the Washington Football Team during his conference discussion on leading transformational change. “Thank you to Clark for dedicating the resources to change that flow. I think it is remarkable.”

Jason Wright, president of the Washington Football Team, sat down with Kwaku Gyabaah, vice president at Clark Construction, to bring important leadership and management insights to small business owners who are looking to grow and lead their teams.

The day-long symposium also featured a range of breakout sessions designed to help address some of the known challenges facing small businesses. Clark leaders, SPP alumni, and industry and business executives from Ernst & Young LLP (EY US), Alliant Insurance Services, BMO Harris Bank, JP Morgan Chase, and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund, among others, led focused discussions on topics including access to capital, hiring and managing a high-performing team, and bonding and insurance best practices.

During the conference, Clark also announced other elements of the SPP ENCORE program, including a newly-formed partnership with EY’s Entrepreneur Access Network. The alliance will provide advanced education and mentoring opportunities for SPP alumni, and continue to advance Clark’s mission to support small business capacity building and drive inclusive growth within the construction industry over the next decade, and beyond.

“Clark’s Strategic Partnership Program has been integral to the growth of my business,” said Corey Smith, president of New Horizon Steel and a graduate of Clark’s inaugural SPP Chicago class. “The program opened my eyes to what I needed to do to run a successful company and gave me greater confidence that I could become one of the elite steel erectors in the region. I am excited that Clark is finding new ways to deepen its investment in the continued development of its SPP alumni, in Chicago, and across the nation, through its SPP ENCORE programming.”

Deryl McKissack, president and CEO of McKissack & McKissack joined the SPP ENCORE Conference to share her career perspectives on being a minority- and women-owned business leader in the AEC industry during a conversation with Clark Executive Vice President Brian Flegel.

Clark’s $2.5 billion subcontracting pledge will help ensure SPP graduates have access to meaningful opportunities to grow their capacity and their business. The new commitment complements Clark’s SDBE15 program, through which the company has voluntarily committed to achieving at least a 15 percent small or disadvantaged business participation on projects that don’t otherwise have small business requirements.

To learn more about the Strategic Partnership Program, visit www.clarkconstruction.com/spp.

Visit https://clrk.cc/SPP-Retrospective to watch the SPP Retrospective and learn more about the history and impact of the program over the last 15 years.