WASHINGTON, D.C. – Clark Construction Group has officially launched a small business inclusion initiative with construction project participation targets, reaffirming its commitment to fostering inclusive growth, both in the building industry as well as within the communities it serves. The SDBE15 program is designed to foster greater participation by small, disadvantaged-, minority-, and women-owned businesses on Clark’s construction projects nationwide.
Through the program, the company commits to achieving at least a 15 percent small or disadvantaged business participation on all projects – even those that don't include small business requirements. This approach includes subcontracts at all tiers to promote opportunities for the greatest number of firms.
The SDBE15 program is designed to expand and strengthen Clark’s existing network and foster long-term relationships with a range of diverse business partners, while enhancing the company’s ability to deliver for clients across the country. The program is projected to generate approximately $250 million for small and disadvantaged businesses annually.
“Small and disadvantaged business inclusion and participation are longstanding priorities for our organization. In support of our nation’s economic recovery, we have renewed our focus on the importance of opening doors that create economic opportunities for small and disadvantaged firms.” said Jay Grauberger, Clark’s executive vice president overseeing corporate affairs.
To define a subcontractor’s eligibility, Clark will utilize existing federal, state, or local government certifications. The company’s construction projects with previously stated small business participation goals that exceed 15 percent will not be subject to this new standard. Clark’s project teams will work in conjunction with the company’s dedicated Subcontractor Development Group (SDG), as well as estimating and purchasing teams, to develop in-depth subcontracting plans for these small businesses that extend from the pursuit phase through project delivery.
The SDBE15 program is part of Clark’s holistic approach to developing and mentoring small and disadvantaged business enterprises, and complements the company’s established Strategic Partnership Program, an intensive executive MBA-style development course targeted to small business owners and leaders. The skills- and capacity-building program, which is now entering its 15th year, has more than 1,250 graduates and is offered in eight markets across the country.
“Due to our many years of hard work supporting small businesses, Clark is prepared to meet this moment – and to make a significant difference in our communities and in our industry,” said Wesley Stith, vice president for Clark and leader of the company’s Subcontractor Development Group.
The SDBE15 program is a deliberate investment, not only in the future of small businesses, but in the industry’s future.
“Both our projects and our communities are stronger because of the diverse perspectives and skills our small business partners bring to the table,” notes Grauberger. “As we build, we are cultivating long-term small and diverse business capacity that will change the landscapes of our communities in many ways. Our projects represent important pathways to economic opportunity and success for small and disadvantaged firms. We want to do our part to support inclusive growth.”