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    Minority inclusion in city construction found lacking

    By: Tom MacDonald

    A new report criticizes diversity in the construction industry in Philadelphia. The Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Construction Industry Diversity is seeking a mammoth gain in the amount of minorities and women receiving construction jobs.

    By: Tom MacDonald
    tmacdonald@whyy.org

    A new report criticizes diversity in the construction industry in Philadelphia. The Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Construction Industry Diversity is seeking a mammoth gain in the amount of minorities and women receiving construction jobs.
    Caption: Mayor Michael Nutter and the Mayor’s Advisory Commission Chairman Carl Singley

    Transcript:
    The report says only about 1 percent of construction is given to minority owned firms in the city, but should be 30 percent to reflect the makeup of the community. Commission Chairman Carl Singley says the plan to increase minority hiring has to start from the bottom up.

    Singley: “What we are advocating is that in trying to figure out solutions to this problem we need to look at all the players in the construction industry.”

    David L. Cohen is head of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and also Vice President at Comcast, whose new $800 million headquarters building was reportedly a model for construction diversity.

    Cohen: “Used to be people thought that diversity was a government program. There’s an obligation by the business community to step up and to articulate diversity as an important program as well.

    Singley says quotas, which have been struck down by the courts need to be replaced by non-mandatory aspirational goals.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090317diverse.mp3]

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