It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the formation of the Alliance of Hispanic Commercial Contractors (AHCC)!
By 2060, Hispanics will be the majority and today, they are opening businesses at 15 times the national average. This significant growth is especially noticeable in the commercial construction industry which includes drywall, electrical and plumbing. Latinos comprise a large portion of the workforce on most construction job sites and many Latinos entrepreneurs become subcontractors on large construction projects as well.
These Hispanic commercial contractors, although innovative and hard-working, are unfamiliar with the construction laws and procurement practices. Additionally, they have very little understanding of surety bonding and other financial commitments.
This lack of knowledge is increasing the risk on the job- without proper funding, a project can be stalled and without proper bonding, it is very difficult, almost impossible to win contracts. These challenges prevent commercial contractors, and in particular, Hispanic commercial contractors, from growing significantly and sustainably.
Another opportunity lies with the Minority Participation requirements included in many contracts. For instance, SHA (State Highway Administration or any Agency) may issue a $20 million contract for road paving which includes a 15% Hispanic participation, meaning that 15% of this contract must be performed by a company certified as Hispanic-Owned. For a large General Contractor, or GC, to win this contract, they must include a Hispanic partner that qualifies and has capacity to handle their portion, or $3MM – they must have sufficient capital to pay their labor force, sufficient bonding coverage; along with knowledge to bid and price the proposal. Also, they must have the right accounting system and knowledge to bill and track to ensure they are in compliance when billing. Not to mention that the Hispanic Contractor must be connected somehow to the network where the GC can find them to form and build a relationship.
These challenges are real. Impeding real growth and limiting the opportunity for teaming arrangements.
Enter the Alliance for Hispanic Commercial Contractors! Formed through a partnership between Karen Barbour, Vanessa Lopez and myself to Promote the growth, prosperity and participation of Hispanic Commercial Contractors in procuring commercial and government contracts through education, training and guidance.
Karen is an award-winning bonding insurance expert and advocate, working diligently to improve access and equality for the small business community. She founded her own business, The Barbour Group and BG Network, so she understands the challenges of running her own shop. Vanessa Lopez, from Nicaragua, is an accountant with more than 14 years of construction accounting experience, very knowledgeable in pricing and tracking to maintain profitability and cashflow. And me- Dominican, born and bred, entrepreneur with expertise in business operations and Hispanic Strategy.
The three of us, along with our teams, will be developing the Alliance and we invite you to join TODAY to support the building of a strong, financially sound and well-equipped pool of Hispanic subcontractors and partners.
Become an AHCC Member TODAY and enjoy the following benefits:
- Certification Assistance
- Access to Contract/Bid Opportunities
- Educational & Training Opportunities
- Small Business Development Seminars
- Matchmaking and Referral Services
- Networking Opportunities
- Branding & Exposure
- Mentoring & Coaching
- Discounted Access to Events
- And More!
Training and educational sessions will be conducted across the region and with various partners and will include sessions in procuring commercial and government contracts, surety, finance, banking, estimation, scheduling, project management, contract law and safety. And the classes will be in Spanish and English to ensure our Latino contractors are fully informed and educated.
With the Latino population growing so quickly, I’m very happy to share that the Alliance for Hispanic Commercial Contractors will support sustainable economic development, so our businesses can grow, and in turn, provide stable jobs for our community.
Friends, I invite you to join us as Members and Partners. Visit our website, www.AllianceHispanicContractors.org or Like our Facebook page- let us know what you think and what your needs are, as this is Alliance is for YOU.