This post has already been viewed 605 times!
This blog as often said, the folks at Minnesota’s Department of Transportation and the City of Minneapolis’ Department of Civil Rights Contract Compliance Unit don’t know civil rights, contract compliance or how to get on track after more than 3 decades of non-compliance. Some say state agencies like MnDOT are to deep into the pockets of national prime contractors they could never “pull out,” let alone enforce compliance on Minnesota’s roads, highways and bridges. We’ve heard it before from MnDOT personnel, “We can’t force primes to hire women/minority contractors – we might get sued.” Logic says, “If that’s the case, then you START with a minority prime contractor and let the challenge be solved from the bottom up. ” DUH, it’s called de-bundling construction contracts, and making project tasks - which is nothing more than a keystroke on a computer.
- Non-profit, social service agencies – take a seat in the back row…this is business.
(Video by IBNN NEWS, filmed on March 30, 2011 at the Economic Summit in north Minneapolis.)
Minneapolis, MN (IBNN NEWS/April 4, 2011)…I was introduced to Ravi Norman in 2009 at the Minneapolis Economic Development Associations Gala. (More on MEDA coming soon.) Congressman Keith Ellison introduced Mr. Norman as, “This is the smartest man I know, Ravi Norman.” Coming from the congressman didn’t hold much water with me because of our different views on politics, people and process – but after Wednesday’s economic summit in north Minneapolis, Ravi is truly one of the “smartest Black men” I know in business, based in the Twin Cities.
Mr. Norman’s Powerpoint presentation was to the point, factual, and picked up on huge disparities in the communities of color as it pertains to contract compliance both from the state and city levels. Mr Norman proclaimed, “When Thor is the prime contractor on a job site goals and compliance are met!” In other-words, Thor Construction is in the business of business.
It troubles me that one of the top 3 Black-owned, Black-operated construction firms in the United States is not the prime contractor on the Minneapolis Public Schools $40 million new district headquarters. But yet reports received from the general contractor on that project, it seems Thor Construction is playing a role – what that role is has not been defined (See Mortenson/Thor Construction report on compliance – hold your breath).
This is where the rubber meets the road. Non-profit social-service agencies are not in the business of doing business – with the exception of Summit Academy OIC. If you dispute that, call the StairStep Foundation and ask them what happen to a variety of businesses and an estimated $30 million dollars. (You remember: Tires Plus, Dairy Queen, Burger King and the food processing plant that went under.)
Mr. Ravi Norman’s presentation at the economic summit with Gov. Mark Dayton should of been a wake up call for not only MnDOT and the city of Minneapolis, but every social service agency who relies on government funding as a wage & salary welfare program while people in the community starve and become homeless under an inept leadership process in the name of Jesus Christ and poor people.
People of color in north Minneapolis are sick of “Zeros.”
Only those who understand business, process and communication can affect change on a blighted area like north Minneapolis. Until then, non-profit social service agencies need to take a back seat.
Ravi Norman is the Chief Executive Officer of Thor Construction. Thor’s mission statement is, “Leaving a legacy in the construction industry through the promise and passion of our people to the customers and communities we serve.”
Founded in 1980, THOR Construction has grown to a Nationally recognized organization built on a foundation of hard work and dedication specializing in General Contracting, Construction Management, Design-Build, Consulting and Concrete.
Through many economic ups and downs, THOR Construction, Inc. has continued to prosper. Our honesty, integrity, and upfront approach have allowed us to become who we are today and will guide us into the future.
At THOR Construction we believe in sharing our opportunities with everyone. We strive to be remembered in the communities in which we work for capturing the feel of the community and complimenting it with our solid work performance. At THOR, we are helping to build a better tomorrow, making us a world-class organization today.