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New Orleans Begins Training Program for Construction Firms

Tue February 21, 2012 - Southeast Edition

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Mayor Mitch Landrieu said New Orleans is starting a new training program to help small, disadvantaged, minority and women-owned construction firms.

He said Contractor’s College of New Orleans will teach contractors certified as disadvantaged how to improve their businesses in areas such as banking, insurance and bonding.

A $1 million grant from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development pays for the program.

It will be managed through a city office created to improve contracting opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged and traditionally underserved small businesses.

Landrieu said the Office of Supplier Diversity has doubled disadvantaged businesses’ participation in city contracts in less than a year, from 16 percent to more than 32 percent. He said it also has helped them get more than $21 million in contracts and tripled the number of firms certified each month as disadvantaged.