Duke Energy Convention Center Renovation Plan To Include 30-40% Of Bids For Minority-, Women-Owned Groups

. An event Wednesday night gave minority and women-owned companies a chance to interact with people from the teams leading the Duke Energy Convention Center renovations.

CINCINNATI — 3CDC partnered with the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce for a kickoff event with the goal of connecting minority-owned and women-owned businesses to the construction management for Duke Energy Convention Center renovations.

“So we’re trying to get for the project 30-40% for African American or minority-owned businesses as well as women-owned businesses,” said Eric Kearney, president/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce.

3CDC is leading the project. Messer Construction, TriVersity Construction, and Jostin Construction are a part of the construction management team. The event Wednesday night gave minority and women-owned companies a chance to interact with people from these teams.

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“This is a huge career boost to anyone who is looking to get into the construction trade,” said Darrick Dansby, a full-time real estate agent who just started a new company called Dansby Development.

Dansby said he plans on bidding to be a part of this project.

“I would like to get involved in doing some painting work,” Dansby said. “I think that painting as well as other smaller jobs that are available are a perfect fit for minority contractors like myself who are just getting started and looking to expand their role in the area of development as well as in the construction trade.”

County and city leaders say inclusion is key for this project to succeed.

“These are folks who want an opportunity and haven’t felt the outreach so that’s what tonight is all about,” said Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus.

Driehaus said several minority and women business owners told her this meeting made them feel seen for the first time.

“They’re saying it’s unique too now. They haven’t felt like they’ve been able to come to the table until this,” Driehaus said.

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Cincinnati City Council member Reggie Harris said he’s confident they’ll reach their goal of 30-40% of the bids going to minority and women-owned businesses.

“Well, we’re not going to fall short of that goal. We have all of the resources at our disposal between the city and the county. We have the political will. We have the talent. We have a project manager that understands the importance of this,” Harris said.

Kearney added there will be more meetings in the future for minority and women-owned businesses to meet with the construction team and learn more about the project. He noted these meetings will allow companies to prepare if they get the bid.

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