As Jacksonville construction lawyers, we know the importance of promoting diversity in the construction industry. Traditionally, aside from a foreign workforce, there has been a lack of diversity in construction. Regardless of race, gender, national origin, or religious creed, in order for construction to thrive in the present day and into the future, we need the most talented individuals working on projects.
In this four-part article, we will discuss ways that minority-owned construction firms can build a successful enterprise. We will begin the series by discussing the history of minority business enterprises (MBE) in the United States. Remember, for any of your construction business legal needs, contact a Jacksonville construction lawyer today.
The History of U.S. Legislation for Minority-Owned Businesses
On March 5, 1969, President Richard Nixon established Executive Order 11458 which created the Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). The recently inaugurated Commander-in-Chief developed this executive action to cultivate the growth of minority-owned businesses. As an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, OMBE became the first federal organization solely dedicated to the development and management of minority-owned businesses in the United States.
Expanding the Scope of OMBE
In 1971, President Nixon created Executive Order 11625 which strengthened and expanded the scale of OMBE. This executive action developed several essential services for OMBE to provide to minority-led businesses including:
- Coordinate “plans, programs and operations” with federal agencies that assist with establishing and maintaining MBEs
- Create a development center that can help promote and create successful business operations for MBEs
- Implement financial assistance awards to organizations that help provide “technical and management assistance” for MBEs
- Promote building relationships between MBEs and “state and local governments, businesses and trade associations, universities, foundations, (and) professional organizations”
Some other important services Executive Order 11625 established included:
- Work with federal agencies to create comprehensive strategies and program initiatives that provide equal opportunities for MBEs
- Evaluate “federal training and technical assistance” proposals for MBEs
- Schedule meetings for federal agencies on matters associated with MBEs
- Create necessary “legislative and executive actions”
In 1979, OMBE changed its name to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). As a federal operating bureau in the present day, MBDA has business centers located across the nation and assists countless MBEs with a wide range of services.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.