The Obama Foundation assured the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA) that it will incorporate Hispanic-owned companies in the Design and Construction the Obama Presidential Center, which is to be built in the south of the city with an investment of $400 million dollars.
Michael Strautmanis, Chief Engagement Officer of the Obama Foundation, promised HACIA executives that they will work with their companies on upcoming projects during HACIA’s Annual Banquet, celebrated recently at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago.
Jorge Pérez, HACIA Executive Director expressed his gratitude for the Foundation’s position.
“We are extremely excited that the Obama Foundation has committed to utilizing HACIA Members and other Hispanic Firms in the development of the Obama Presidential Center. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the City of Chicago, our State, and Country,” he said in a statement to Negocios Now.”
“So not only did Hispanics help Obama get elected, but we will be part of the design plans to build this wonderful center. This cements President Obama’s legacy and commitment to Chicago’s Hispanic Community. “
Obama Foundation’s decision came after HACIA protested the fact that no Hispanic owned company had been included in the original the Presidential Center construction project.
The Presidential Obama Center has hired a group of five construction companies, mostly owned by African-Americans, to build the center on the south side of Chicago.
Lakeside Alliance is formed by Turner Construction Co., Powers & Sons Construction Co., UJAMAA Construction, Brown & Momen and Safeway Construction Co. The collective was formed more than two years ago to work on the Presidential Center’s project.
“The Obama Foundation has made diversity and inclusion a top priority, both for the construction of our project and for the operation of our center. We recently announced that 50 percent of the subcontracts of our construction project will go to different companies.”
The design includes three buildings, a museum, a forum and a library, surrounded by a public square in the city park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
“We look forward to creating a new model for diversity and inclusion in construction that will have a lasting impact on HACIA and its members.” (Photo, from left, Michael Strautmanis, Chief Engagement Officer, Obama Foundation Ivan Solis, HACIA Board President Solis Construction, Jorge Perez HACIA Executive Director)