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A Philadelphia Tribune analysis of available data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Census Bureau suggest the city lags behind many others with regard to minority-owned construction.

The Philadelphia metropolitan region was home to some 12,048 construction firms with employees in 2016, but only 6.9 percent were minority-owned.

Based on government figures, you were three times more likely to find a minority-owned construction company in Denver or Oklahoma City.  

In 2010, the Census Bureau found that in Philadelphia, whites made up 80 percent of structural iron and steelworkers, 77 percent of sheet metal workers and 74 percent of carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers.

Presented with those figures, Congressman Dwight Evans said educate more students for jobs in the trades, while Gov. Tom Wolf said the state will increase its spend with small diverse companies.

Mayor Jim Kenney and Council President Darrell Clarke point to the city’s Rebuild program and an oversight committee charged with monitoring diversity efforts by construction companies that get city contracts.

The administration has set goals of giving 25 to 30 percent of funding to minority-owned businesses.


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