On October 18, The Construction Alliance honored Jose Rodriguez, Fort Myer Construction’s President, among the three pioneers of the movement to improve and empower District-based construction and commercial contracting firms at this year’s, Diversity in Construction Gala. These three firms, including Fort Myer Construction Corporation, have provided opportunities for local companies to grow and prosper thanks to their successful businesses. The event information below is directly from The Construction Alliance, which is a coalition of four (4) organizations; Anacostia Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Association (MDCHCA), National Association of Minority Contractors–Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Chapter (NAMC-WMAC) and CHOICE, a Program of the Building Trades Union.
In his first term as Mayor of the District of Columbia, Marion Barry, Jr. made a point of insisting that any firm wishing to do business with the city have minority partners, and shepherded legislation requiring 35% of all contracts to go to minority-owned firms. By strengthening the Minority Business Enterprise Program, it subsequently evolved as one of the most progressive local inclusion programs in the United States, serving as a best practice model for other local and state jurisdictions. The program allowed District of Columbia-certified MBEs to obtain unprecedented opportunities to grow their business and achieve economic success.
Three of the first recipients to utilize the MBE program, which was later changed to the Certified Business Enterprise program (CBE) were three District business giants; Carl Jones of Monumental Concrete, Jose Rodriguez of Fort Myer Construction and Angel Roubin of Roubin & Janeiro. Each created a successful construction firm based in the District of Columbia that remains in business today. Over the past half century, each has provided opportunities for thousands of entrepreneurs to build their companies and shared hundreds of millions of dollars in subcontracts to incipient, hardworking District-based business enterprises.
These first generation Washingtonians, built their companies in the District at a time when minorities faced insurmountable obstacles. They became lifelong friends and nurtured not only their individual companies and each other, but provided enormous benefits to the District-based small business community. These firms blossomed under the tenure of Mayor Barry and their companies grew exponentially.
Jose Rodriguez’s Fort Myer Construction Corporation established the Small Business Roundtable that has provided countless opportunities to subcontractors who are part of their network. Angel Roubin built epochal projects such as the 14th St. Bridge and the Kennedy Tomb at Arlington National Cemetery, employing local stonemasons and creating an entire construction sector dedicated to brick and stone masonry, paving and roofing. Carl Jones serves as a leader in empowering African American construction firms in the complex field of laying concrete, foundation construction and demolitions. He has spent a lifetime mentoring and training entrepreneurs and has nurtured many local companies.
These entrepreneurs were honored at the Diversity in Construction Reception on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at the National Association of Home Builders headquarters with a brief film and an awards ceremony. This is the core element of the third annual reception to recognize general contractors, developers and construction professionals who best exemplify companies for whom diversity is an important and all encompassing goal.