The City of Tampa will hire a designated advocate to help achieve the city’s unprecedented goal for minority and small business participation in the construction of the planned City Center on Hanna Avenue in East Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor announced today.
"The Hanna Avenue City Center is such a historic and important investment in East Tampa and the entire city that we want extra oversight to ensure we maximize minority participation and apprenticeships," Mayor Castor said.
The City Center Project will consolidate multiple city departments into a 161,000 building. It will serve as a community gathering spot and workforce development site while also increasing efficiencies across city operations and bringing government closer to the people.
The City of Tampa has set a goal of 35 percent participation in the $108-million project for African American-owned firms and other historically underutilized small businesses. Mayor Castor instructed city officials to hire an owner's representative to monitor apprenticeships and minority participation after consulting with community partners including the Urban League of Hillsborough County, the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs, and the NAACP Hillsborough County.
"Hanna is an extraordinary workforce development opportunity, and we need to get it right," Mayor Castor said. "Our community partners will play a key role in recruiting and spreading the word about job and apprenticeship opportunities, and the general contractor, DPR Construction, shares our steadfast commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion."
DPR has been conducting community outreach sessions since Tampa City Council members in November approved the project to consolidate multiple city departments into one community hub.
Those include seven outreach sessions related to the project and the supplier diversity/workforce efforts in the East Tampa community; 14 one-on-one workshops with potential large contractor partners to clearly define diversity goals and requirements; and attended or hosted 16 community events with an emphasis on establishing relationships with the diverse business community and informing residents about construction careers.
DPR has another informational session for the community, including prospective job-seekers and subcontractors, on Feb. 16 at Ragan Park Community Center.
DPR also is expanding its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Among those additional steps planned by DPR:
- Engaging a Tampa-based diversity consultant to assist as boots on the ground, communicate the DPR plan, monitor progress for certified BBEs/SLBEs on the project post-award, and administer accountability measures for all stakeholders as it relates to the achievement of the diversity and workforce goals, finalizing negotiations with Ariel Business Group led by Thomas Huggins II of Tampa.
- Partnering with a certified Black Business Enterprise (BBE) firm to provide turnkey general contracting services on the Fleet and Facilities Buildings at the City Center.
- Negotiating with Tampa-based Strategist Project Support Services led by OT Delancy to provide staff extension services to support our Project Management team.
“DPR has a demonstrated commitment to diversity outreach,” said Patrice Haley, DPR’s national supplier diversity leader. “We are, and will continue to collaborate with the City of Tampa to maximize our diverse partner outreach efforts on the City Center at Hanna Avenue with transparency.”