As part of the construction of the new St. Louis Major League Soccer Stadium and district, the ownership group is committed to engaging the community and creating opportunities for minority-owned businesses in St. Louis and the surrounding area. While still in the pre-construction phase of the project, Kwame Building Group, the project manager and representatives of the ownership group for St. Louis’ Major League Soccer team, has committed 21 of the 55 contracts to-date to Women and Minority Business Enterprises (Seven to Women Business Enterprises and 14 to African American Enterprises) which equals approximately $52.5 million (Approximately $10.6 million to Women’s Business Enterprises and $41.8 million to African American Business Enterprises).
The City of St. Louis has an overall goal of 24% of a project’s contract dollars go to minority-owned businesses, and this construction team has made it a top priority to achieve that goal. The project team is actively engaging with minority-owned businesses and creating opportunities for them to grow and succeed by conducting outreach events and establishing an inclusive, transparent bidding process.
The construction team held events about bid opportunities on February 26 and June 17 and plan future events. Bid events and opportunities are communicated widely to all St. Louis City Certified MBE/WBE firm via St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) email blasts and also through Alberici SmartBid, St. Louis Construction Contractors Assistance Center (MOKAN), St. Louis Minority Business Development Agency, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Chamber of Commerce, African Chamber of Commerce and Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to creating opportunities for minority-owned contractors, the joint venture and the ownership group are committed to maximizing additional workforce opportunities. Over the course of the stadium construction project, approximately 500 local construction jobs will be created.
Statement Attributed to Tony Thompson, CEO of KWAME Building Group:
“As a Minority Business Enterprise with extensive female and African American leadership on this project, KWAME knows that a diverse business community and workforce are essential to St. Louis’ success and competitiveness. Our project team has a strong track record in workforce inclusion and supplier diversity. The ownership group’s vision from the beginning has been to be an exceptional club and neighbor on and off the field. We all share a commitment to community engagement for this monumental project, with strong opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses, as evidenced by their commitment to having us lead the effort as the owner’s representative.”
Statement Attributable to Don Johnson, President, Steel Rebar Manufacturing LLC, SRM Construction Material and Supply:
“As a minority-owned small business, SRM Construction Material and Supply appreciates the opportunities that large-scale projects like the MLS Stadium offers through creating jobs for local residents of the community. The St. Louis City Diversity Program in addition to agencies such as the Associated General Contractors (AGC), St. Louis Apartment Association (SLAA), St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) and St. Louis Construction Contractors Assistance Center (MOKAN) have all been instrumental in coordinating efforts to bring together contractors supporting the efforts of minority and women-owned businesses.”
“SRM Construction Material and Supply looks forward to growing as a company while offering both skills training and job placement incorporating a diverse workforce in cooperation with the union trades. It is important that local leadership continue in their efforts of supporting minority-owned small businesses while elevating the bar to not only set but meet diversity goals through efforts similar to what the MLS Stadium Project has established.”
Statement Attributable to John Wilson, President & CEO, Penn Services:
“Penn Services is very excited and grateful to have been chosen to provide steel services on this amazing project. We are so delighted to see the ownership plan, develop and invest in the local St. Louis community! We look forward to working with a dynamic and first-class group of GC’s.”