Voice & Viewpoint Staff
For many, the signing of an agreement between the National Black Contactor’s Association (NBCA) and the Association of General Contractors (AGC) a few weeks ago was not only a long time coming, but never expected. For years the AGC, the predominantly white arm of the construction industry in the City of San Diego, has taken upwards of 95% of all construction contracts. Much of this has been done with complete disregard of the Black Construction industry. Mr. Abdur-Rahim Hameed, President of the San Diego Chapter of the BCA, is founder and President of the National Black Contractors Association (NBCA).
The agreement between the two organizations acknowledges that they have both heavily invested in workforce development in the San Diego Community through state and federally approved apprenticeship programs. They both agree that this Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is designed to expand and strengthen their training programs through cooperation and sharing of resources, including best practices.
Eddie Sprecco, CEO of the AGC of America San Diego Chapter, said in an interview with Voice & Viewpoint that he joined the AGC in 2016 and has been working on bringing the two organizations together for a long time. He said it was hard for some of the old guard to open up to an MOA with NBCA, but today represents a big step toward working to diversify the construction industry.
Just a few highlights of the agreement: Twenty (20) AGC contractors will sign with NBCA and employ NBCA apprentices; Training will be enhanced by the Exchange of Trainers and Best Practices; NBCA and AGC will expand opportunities for local San Diego residents and contractors. The agreement is for a five year period and can be terminated by either party with 60 day written notice. It appears that this agreement was in conflict with an action Mr. Hameed says the Fourth City Council Representative recently voted to give apprentices from NBCA, which was a temporary placement in unions.
“The Memorandum of Agreement between the Black Contractors Association and the local chapter of the Associated General Contractors Association is an immense step in the right direction. Ensuring that African Americans within the construction industry have equal access to contracting and training opportunities is imperative to the economic sustainability that we seek within our community for contractors as well as Black businesses across every sector,” said Donna DeBerry, President of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.