Increase the capacity and long-term viability of emerging minority and women owned union construction firms in the St. Louis area.
Many owners in the St. Louis area specify a required or desirable level of participation by minority and women owned companies in construction projects. While the construction industry supports this participation, it has struggled in its effort to help grow sustainable minority and women owned construction companies. Few of them have been able to grow, handle significant projects, and prosper in a sustainable manner for a number of reasons. All too often minority and women owned companies participate in large construction projects, but are unable to move on to other projects with any success.
In late 2005, the idea to create a construction-focused business incubator for minority and women owned business emerged as a viable option. Business incubators, which have enjoyed considerable success in other industries, provided a viable solution to develop sustainable minority and women owned construction firms.
Terry Nelson, the local leader of the Carpenters’ District Council approached PRIDE with this proposal. PRIDE responded with creation of a task force including Terry Nelson, Jim LaMantia, Executive Director of PRIDE, and Bob McCoole, formerly the President of Alberici Group. With funds provided by PRIDE, this task force engaged a professional consultant to help design and facilitate the process to create an incubator.
With the collective effort of this task force and key stakeholders in the construction industry from labor leaders, contractors, to owners, and professional service providers, the Regional Union Construction Center (RUCC) was founded with the purpose to increase business capacity and long-term development of minority and women owned union construction firms in the St. Louis area.