Hiring contractors and workers for construction projects is always complicated. Mt. Aaron Missionary Baptist Church wants to make sure its $23 million Mt. Aaron Village project has workers and managers reflecting its Genesee Street location.
Pastor Dwayne Jones has been a development powerhouse in his community around the church's Genesee and Adams campus. This year-long project will add a lot: 14 townhouses and 60 apartment units to his existing senior complex.
Tuesday evening, TJC-PR Consultant held an open house to get contractors and prospective workers in to talk with each other and what the plan is with R & P Oak Hill construction management. Jones wants to make sure the community knows about the opportunity.
He said everyone will benefit from the project and its purpose.
"This project will take a whole year to be completed. It's such a large project I believe that we can find portions of this project for the minority community, ladies," he said. "We welcome all vendors to come and put a bid in, in that we all rise together."
Jones said he wants workers who can develop or expand skills that can be used with other contractors and on other projects to support themselves and their families.
Adonis Linder was there, hoping to start putting his life back together after a period of incarceration and prior construction experience.
"I probably could get my old job back, but I'm trying to get by without leaning on them because it's sort of family," Linder said. "So I want to do it on my own. I don't want anything handed to me. So I'm going out there on my own to try to prove I can provide for myself, this time around."
Susan Johnson was there looking for work for her contruction firm Jin-Sen Enterprises. Johnson said her firm would be able to beat industry segregation and would have been over the years.
"I'm a contractor. I know what I do is going to bring the prime contractor his money 'cause I'm an executing contractor," Johnson said. "Yes, R & P Oak Hill would have opened the door for me because he's also a veteran."
Luis Rodriguez Jr. was also there for his Rodriguez Construction, a firm interested in larger projects.
"When I worked for Ciminelli, I worked on the Buffalo Schools project. I worked at ECMC. I managed almost $200 million of the work on that campus. So some of those projects don't really necessarily scare me, but as a smaller business, having the capacity," he said. "Right now, we've been around for seven years. Our bonding capacity has grown, but it takes time. That's the problem when you have small contractors."