Fighting For Illinois Black Enterprises
Black businesses across the State of Illinois face unprecedented challenges. However, the challenges many of us face are common to all businesses. The Chamber is concerned about the plight of our membership and how best we can weather the current storm. The purpose of this section is to highlight some of the challenges unique to our business community and present our position on these vital issues.
OUR KEY ISSUES
The Black Chamber of Commerce (23 chapters in Illinois) and the National Black Chamber of Commerce (largest black trade association in the world) will strongly advocate for the following:
- FOCUS ON LOCAL RESIDENTS. 45% of construction manpower hours be worked by residents living in the zip codes and census tracts surrounding all Olympic venues (Note: On the New Kennedy King College 40% of manpower hours where worked by Englewood residents)
- FIGHT AGAINST FRAUD. 50% construction contracts to be awarded to black and other minorities in the Chicago-land area. (City goals of 25% minority and 5% women are unacceptable) Given what happen with front and fraudulent minority companies in the past we will be on the look out and report them to the U.S. Attorney for prosecution.
- NO PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS. PLA's or Project Labor Agreements (union only shop) are unacceptable. We must qualify each and every PLA. We must look at the demographic goals of each geographical area which are set by the U.S. Dept of Labor and match that with the current capacity of the applicable construction unions. As many of you are aware the racist and sexist construction unions moved all of their training programs outside of the city limits to the detriment of our people. If the construction unions don't have the numbers a complaint will be filed to stop the setup for discrimination per Harry C. Alford Co-founder/Pres/CEO National Black Chamber of Commerce. (As we all know the Obama Administration won't accept discrimination). All elected officials at the city, county and state level must move this route in the 21st century to deal with the discrimination in the construction industry. We may have to sue the 2016 Olympic Committee if they try to setup a PLA that doesn't meet these standards. Our people have been betrayed long enough. (Remember 2016 Olympic Committee wants to use local funds and state guarantees that we all would have to pay back) So we should benefit from OWN TAX DOLLARS.
- INCREASED MONITORING. Monitoring of contractors (No company that was an affirmative action monitor during the minority contracting scams shall be disqualified)
- FIGHT FOR PROMPT PAYMENT. Prompt Payment must be part of the Community Benefits Agreements. 30 days after prime contractors receives funds subcontractors and workers must be paid.
- TRAINING TO CLOSE THE GAP. Paid on the job construction training must be part of the Community Benefits Agreement as well. We have a national program that is currently at work in the Gulf Coast Rebuilding Effort. In less than 2 years 20,000 Katrina and Rita residents have been trained in construction. We reached our goal 14 months ahead of schedule of the 20,000 trained and currently working in the Gulf - 70% are black and being paid $19 - $26 per hour (prevailing wage - Davis Bacon Act). Only requirements 8th grade education in math and reading. Also, be able to pass a drug test) THAT'S IT!!!!!! We will recruit more trainees in the future for the program.