Few Black subcontractors at Speedway’s last forum

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

BY JAMES HARPER
DAYTONA TIMES

Daytona International Speedway held its second subcontractor outreach forum on Oct.16 to provide information on construction opportunities related to its $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project.

Regina L Cromer-Halls of Sanford-based G&C Welding Specialist, LLC, a certified MWBE firm working on the Daytona Rising project, speaks to other attendees at the Oct. 16 forum.(DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY)

Regina L Cromer-Halls of Sanford-based G&C Welding Specialist, LLC, a certified MWBE firm working on the Daytona Rising project, speaks to other attendees at the Oct. 16 forum.
(DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY)

The first was held on July 17. More than 230 Florida minority and women-owned businesses as well as local Volusia County construction trades attended both forums, representing cities such as Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Ormond Beach, Orlando, Sanford, Winter Springs, DeLand, Hawthorne, Pinellas Park, St. Johns, New Smyrna, Ocala, Titusville, Fort Lauderdale, Apopka, Odessa and Palm Coast.

The project is being designed to create a state-of-the-art racing experience along the Speedway’s nearly mile-long frontstretch.

Dr. Glenn Cherry, CEO of the Daytona Times and Florida Courier, was among the approximately 50 people who attended the second outreach last Thursday.

Cherry was surprised to see only a few Black subcontractors at the outreach.

Cherry admitted getting certified with the state requires a lot of footwork and paperwork. Even after going through the process, there is no guarantee of a job on a major project.

Hiring concern
He also said it is important the Speedway hire minority subcontractors, who, in turn, will hire Black laborers. Most importantly, he noted, the hiring of a Black subcontractor sustains the development of that Black business.

He also remarked on how many non-Black women were in the room representing subcontractors. Cherry said he was concerned that the women were representing themselves as minorities.

“They are required to be certified to be classified in the minority category,” said Cherry, noting that it appeared the Speedway assumed the women present were representing minority firms.

No number from DIS
So far, the Daytona Times has determined that only one Black subcontractor, Sanford-based G C Welding Specialist, LLC, a certified MWBE firm, is working on the Daytona Rising project.

Lenny Santiago, Senior Director of Public Relations for the Speedway told the Times that there has been no public disclosure of the number of MBWE firms participating in Daytona Rising.

He said an estimate would likely include all minorities and women-owned businesses.

“We are hopeful that more minority firms are able to participate in this project – that’s the sole reason for hosting these outreach forums,” Santiago remarked.

Available work
During both forums, subcontractors were given an overview of diversity outreach and information on how they can pre-qualify for the bidding process on various aspects of the project.

Barton Malow, the design builder for the project, also provided a list of upcoming remaining bid packages, including miscellaneous metals, drywall partitions and ceilings, cold-formed metal studs, acoustical ceilings, millwork and casework, floor tile, carpeting and painting and specialties.

Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said the company has been focused on creating opportunities for local communities and particularly minority and women-owned businesses throughout Florida.

“Daytona Rising represents a significant economic boost and we are grateful to have such talented and hard-working business partners from all areas of the community helping to transform our vision into a reality, which benefits everyone,” Chitwood said.

Businesses can learn more about the project by visiting http://contractors.bartonmalow.com or emailing DIS.Outreach@bartonmalow.com.

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