DDC and SCA Join Forces On MWBE Mentor Program

The New York City School Construction Authority and Department of Design and Construction announced this morning that they are merging their mentoring programs in order to help provide better service to more entrepreneurs looking to launch minority-/women-owned businesses. The collaboration will streamline training to help prepare contractors and subcontractors to bid for projects offered by both SCA and DDC.

“Our agreement between the agencies will enhance the mentoring program recognized by each organization. We will provide the pre-qualification and training for both entities in consultation of course with the specific requirements for each,” said SCA President Lorraine Grillo, who called the new endeavor, “Two great programs, one mighty partnership.” 

DDC Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora praised the partnership as a means of capitalizing on the wealth of human resources available in New York City. 

“We need to make sure a city like ours can tap into all the talent that we have. I think that is very important,“ said Peña-Mora.

Rev. Jacques De Graff, the chair of SCA’s diversity board, recalled the struggles minorities faced to secure the opportunities afforded to them through programs offered by the SCA and DDC. He urged mentors not to squander it.

“Those of us who fought for this program expect your very best. If we are going to take taxpayer dollars to help build your business, then we expect better than ‘My dog ate my homework.’ We expect 100 percent from you. We expect you to hire people in our community and remember where you came from,” De Graff said. 

The SCA and DDC also announced the creation of a new Opportunity Academy, which will provide paid training to college students with a focus on administrative skills. Many contractors report that they spend the majority of their workweek dealing with administrative tasks for which they were not trained. This new venture would look to create a skilled workforce to help alleviate that burden for contractors while also providing financial assistance and teaching marketable skills to college students. SCA and DDC have teamed up with LaGuardia College, next door to their offices, to launch this initiative. 

In conjunction with today’s event, 3030 Thomson Avenue, the building in Long Island City, Queens which houses both agencies was renamed Opportunity Central.