One focus area of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task force is the expansion of our External Partner Program. It is our belief that both the support and employment of small and minority-owned companies is essential to the enhancement of the economy and greater community. We believe that the first critical steps toward the development of a more equitable and diverse workforce are forming relationships and communicating the opportunities available. It is important that the partnerships we create promote upward mobility, boost the diversity of our workforce, and ultimately improve the quality of life for all people in our community.
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NOVEL LoSo is a mixed-use multifamily community currently under construction in Charlotte. During the project bidding phase of development, the Crescent Communities Construction team hosted outreach events to introduce the MWSBE community to the project and offer the opportunity to bid for work on the high-profile job. The team also introduced qualifying subcontractors with the MWSBE program to expand their opportunities. The construction team encouraged all subcontractors to achieve a 10% MWSBE participation. Additionally, the team actively seeks and offers preference for MWSBE suppliers to provide general conditions support for the project, encouraging their growth and exposure.
A 1,400-acre master planned community, the River District will continue to evolve during development, a process expected to span nearly 30 years. From day one, Crescent Communities made a commitment to inclusion with the announcement of the Minority and Small Business Action Plan. The Action Plan is a commitment to host open houses, create opportunities for workforce development training, and report annually on the efforts. In partnership with the City of Charlotte, we plan to meet our goals for phase-one infrastructure and will continue to evolve and expand our commitment throughout the life of the project.
After forming the Minority and Small Business Action Plan for the River District, Crescent Communities committed to apply these same goals and principles to Ally Charlotte Center from the onset of construction in 2018. Working with Brasfield & Gorrie, our general contractor partner, the Crescent Communities team hosted a series of open houses to introduce minority and small business subcontractors to the construction team. Over 40 small and minority businesses were registered through Brasfield & Gorrie’s prequalification system as a result of this initiative, and several have supplied work on the project to-date. Additionally, several of these firms have been hired by Brasfield & Gorrie on other projects.
Crescent Communities and general contracting partner, Whiting Turner, were early adopters of minority and small business inclusion initiatives. NOVEL Stonewall Station by Crescent Communities, completed in 2018, achieved almost 10% of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) participation in this highly complex mixed-use project in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.