Minority Recruitment in California Construction

By Loren Faulkner | September 28, 2010

Whether discrimination exists within the construction field of California continues to be argued. Passage of Proposition 209 by California voters in 1996 amended the state constitution: There would be no more mandatory quotas of minority-owned companies assigned to public state and local government building projects.

A legal challenge to that measure was shot down by the state Supreme Court in 2000: 150 years of case law and precedent shall not override the will of the people of California, it said.

If a person Googles-in the words "minorities in California construction industry," websites appear indicating that some entities see a setback for minorities since the ruling, while others see the same basic statistics as prior to Prop 209. Other sites list available construction jobs in the top cities of California.

At any rate, there is no law against trying to interest minorities — whether by race or gender — to get into the construction field. And it comes not a moment too soon. It's no secret that California's construction industry is headed for major problems if replacements aren't in place within the next few years for those retiring.

One company, noted for its active recruitment of minorities in the construction field, is highlighted in this recent press release:

Los Angeles, Calif. — Turner Construction Company of Los Angeles has announced the continuation of its partnerships with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the City of Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Center, Los Angeles World Airports, and the National Association of Minority Contractors Southern California Chapter plus the addition of a new partner, Union Bank of California, to present the Ninth Annual Turner School of Construction Management Training Program for minority, women and disadvantaged business contractors in the greater Los Angeles area.

The Turner School of Construction Management Training Program is designed to provide these contractors with the tools necessary to pursue work in the private and public sectors. Participants will learn the essentials of managing a business, including how to develop a business plan, estimate and bid a larger job, obtain bonding, enforce safety principles, and establish and manage credit in order to become better equipped to compete for progressively larger contracts. One goal of the program is to develop a pool of minority contractors with the necessary skills to perform work on future Turner projects. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network with peers, instructors and others in the construction industry during the training program. More info: www.turner.com.