Association for minority contractors gets started in Western Pennsylvania
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 4:56 a.m.
A newly chartered organization dedicated to changing the business landscape for minority contractors in Western Pennsylvania has arrived.
Western Regional National Association of Minority Contractors hosted an inaugural breakfast Wednesday morning at the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania facility in Pittsburgh.
Allegheny County Department of Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise director Ruth Byrd-Smith petitioned the national association in Washington to create the Pittsburgh-based chapter a year ago.
She received official approval this month.
“I see a lot of companies that are minority and women (owned),” Byrd-Smith said. “They get to a certain point and it's hard to make that next leap. It takes a different kind of skill set once you start to manage people as opposed to projects. That's kind of what this organization is for. So we can inspire each other and can help them get some solid educational and technical kinds of skills in place so it's easier to make that kind of transition.”
Byrd-Smith said the organization can help budding businesses through its connections.
“A lot of groups similar to this start up with the hopes of assisting start-up companies,” she explained. “Most of the contractors that we're engaged with at this time are at the middle of their business life. Who better to mentor start-up companies than people who have been in the business for some time? They know what kinds of challenges that those companies are up against.”
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was Wednesday's guest speaker. He had his own engineering business for almost 30 years prior to taking office in January 2012.
“I had to get up and go out and fight for business every day,” Fitzgerald said. “I know exactly what you're up against. It's also sometimes more difficult when you're a minority business because you face other barriers that other businesses don't have. At all levels of government ... we can partner in a positive way that makes improvement. My administration has been very committed to doing that.”
He highlighted a multi-million dollar U.S. Steel expansion in Clairton.
“They were very good about making sure that they were providing opportunities for minority contractors in those projects,” Fitzgerald said.
Regional president Gil Berry of Clairton's Gil Berry & Associates presented Fitzgerald with an honorary lifetime membership award.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport club has railroad display on track for holiday
- Mon Yough Chamber’s ‘Lunch and Learn’ uncovers Carnegie ‘gem’
- McKeesport-area school boards reorganize
- Afterschool Buddy shares message in Duquesne
- Port Vue council set to join host fee legal fight
- Salvation Army donations lag in Western Pennsylvania
- McKeesport council approves budget with no tax hike
- Segina, Malinchak recognized for service to McKeesport
- McKeesport Area examines harassment policies
- Propel student joins CLO cast
- Area towns mark holiday events