Within the next few months, Fort Worth and Tarrant County voters may have the opportunity to vote on as many as three major bond proposals: the Fort Worth Independent School District, the City of Fort Worth and the Tarrant County Hospital District (John Peter Smith Health Network).
With the amount of dollars for these bond projects possibly approaching $2 billion, it is important that city, school district and county leaders continue to think about how to share the wealth. With African American and Hispanic communities constituting 54 percent of Fort Worth’s population, our city populace is a minority/majority constituency.
It is important that prime contractors on these major projects include not only minority subcontractors, but minority “partners.” We have a perfect example of that happening right now with the multi-million-dollar project at I. M. Terrell School, future home of the Academy for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the Performing and Visual Arts. Dallas-based Turner Construction joined with the Tarrant County African-American company Con-Real to partner as construction manager of the project.
Leaders need to demonstrate that they believe in economic equity, and are willing to ensure that MWBE firms will have ample opportunities to participate as contractors on these worthwhile projects.