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Friday, May 24, 2024

White-Owned Businesses Prevented from Taking $2.3B in Contracts to Renovate N.Y. Airport

'New York remains committed to providing travelers with a premier experience that includes world-class amenities and record involvement by local minority- and women-owned businesses will ensure just that...'

(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) The New York Port Authority reserved a sizeable portion of the nearly $20 billion renovation project at JFK International Airport for businesses owned by women and non-white men.  

The plan to renovate JFK Airport was announced in 2017 and will cost an estimated $19 billion, which will be paid for by both public and private funds, Blaze Media reported.

Of that $19 billion, renovation contracts worth a total of $2.3 billion have been reserved for minority- and women-owned business enterprises — also known as MWBEs — as part of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s, D-N.Y., goal of increasing state partnerships with MWBEs.

As of May 14, 2024, 680 MWBEs have been awarded contracts for the JFK renovation project.

“New York remains committed to providing travelers with a premier experience that includes world-class amenities and record involvement by local minority- and women-owned businesses will ensure just that. This transformative project uplifts these businesses and deepens investments in the community while bolstering the state workforce,” Hochul said.

The Port Authority previously stated on its website that it has openly embraced “a progressive diversity and inclusion initiative” that aims to increase “contract participation” with MWBEs. The agency hopes to have minority-owned businesses represent 20% of its contract partners and women-owned businesses represent another 10% by 2030.

Businesses that are owned by white people may not have been entirely excluded from bidding on contracts related to the JFK airport renovation, the news source added, since the agency also worked with Queens-based businesses — some of which may be owned by white men — awarding approximately 200 of them some $950 million in JFK-related contracts.

With $2.3 billion in contracts for MWBEs, the JFK renovation project surpasses New York’s previous record of $2.2 billion in public-private contracts with MWBEs set by those in charge of renovating nearby LaGuardia Airport.

The JFK renovation project is scheduled to be completed in 2028.

“The Port Authority is committed to supporting inclusiveness in the design, financing, construction and operation of our major redevelopment projects across the region by setting ambitious goals for MWBE participation,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said.

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