minority contracts

St. Louis NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt says the Contractor Loan Fund is a potential game-changer for diversity in St. Louis construction at a news conference announcing the fund Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at Cortex.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Minority and women contractors who can’t get traditional loans to expand their business in St. Louis have a new resource at their disposal: the Contractors Loan Fund.

Certified minority and women-owned business enterprises will be able to apply for a loan of up to $1 million from the fund, which has a pool of $10 million.

State Rep. Courtney Curtis, left, and St. Louis County Councilwoman Hazel Erby, right, speak a press conference last year. Curtis is sponsoring "right to work" legislation aimed at construction unions, which he contends haven't done enough to bring minori
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to having a “big tent” for its members, Missouri Democrats have talked the talk – and walked the walk. 

Kristi Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

Community organizing pays off.

That’s the message in a report released Tuesday by Gamaliel, a national faith-based network with affiliates in 16 states, including Metropolitan Congregations United in the St. Louis region and United Congregations of Metro East.

Five of the original 12 participants in the first session of BUD listen intently to their instructor on the first day of training October 6, 2014.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

The first session of the Building Union Diversity, or BUD, initiative has finished. It’s a new effort to increase diversity in St. Louis building and construction unions. Program organizers say efforts are now underway to connect participants to employers.

The initiative is an eight-week pre-apprenticeship program organized by seven St. Louis unions, with funding and recruitment provided by the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

A top aide to St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley unleashed scathing criticism Tuesday at his boss’ Democratic rival for county executive. 

It was part of yet another highly charged county council meeting filled with arguments, insults, recriminations and heated confrontations.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

The few long-time regulars at  St. Louis County Council meetings may be longing for the legislative body's customary 10-minute meetings after the past few weeks.

That’s because in recent weeks, the meetings have turned into lengthy – and often bitterly hostile – clashes between St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and most of the council. But it's more than just legislative melodrama; a coalition of five council members (out of seven) have managed to block quite a bit of Dooley’s agenda.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Department of Commerce is giving nearly $1 million to promote minority business enterprises, or MBEs, in the St. Louis region.

The $900,000 grant announced Tuesday will establish a business center to provide minority entrepreneurs and business owners with contract and financing opportunities, bonding services and executive training.

(via Google Maps screen capture)

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has unveiled new goals for the number of minorities and women who must be involved with the agency’s big construction projects.

The agency plans to set higher thresholds for the number of minorities and women doing the actual construction work on projects. MSD has also added workforce goals for local residents and those enrolled in apprentice programs.

The changes, which are outlined below, followed two years of work. They're based on a study by the national firm Mason Tillman.

Here's some definitions to know:

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has taken a small step toward expanding then number of minorities and women working construction in the city.

(Véronique LaCapra)

The minority business advocacy group MOKAN says the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is not doing enough to include local minority and female workers in its sewer upgrade projects.

MOKAN executive director Yaphett El-Amin says her group wants MSD to increase the transparency of its hiring practices and invest at least $23.5 million in worker training programs.