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Letter to the editor: Change is needed for minority contractors

To the editor:

There is something structurally wrong in the Milwaukee area when it comes to contracting with minority contractors. It has nothing to do with getting paid quickly. The pay process already exists, it must be enforced and it is in the contract documents along with specifications that allow a continuous job flow for the minority contractors.”

A job starts with the development of a bid and continues with supervision, materials, labor, insurance, overhead and profits, all of which is standard for all contractors. However, every year minorities become a political issue, a study, and not a business issue.

For example, when larger development companies come into the city for help, they carry employment, businesses and taxpayers. Minority contractors are not looked at that way when minority contractors are hired as consultants and sometimes become spokespeople.

The contracting construction industry itself must promote minority business enterprise participation initiatives. The city of Milwaukee can start a five-year strategy using construction management partnerships and set their goals and policies for the contracting citizens.

Dester Martin
founding officer,
African American Chamber of Wisconsin

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