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Largest Contract To Minorities Offers Opportunities
3/13/2013 12:13:53 PM

Theron Snype, Minority Business Director

By Barney Blakeney

Skansa/Trident JV recently awarded to Horus Construction Managers of Tampa, Fla., the largest contract to a minority owned firm ($13.4 million) given a Black-owned firm in the history of the state or City of Charleston, says Minority Business Enterprise Office Director Theron Snype.

The contract for plastering, drywall and masonry work in the $142 million Gailliard Auditorium reconstruction project represents a game-breaking event for the company that could take it to the next level in the construction arena, Snype said.

Although construction in the area tops billions of dollars worth of economic development, the $13 million contract to Horus Construction Managers is significant because it means the second generation African American-owned business will have the experience  of performing in a major project that enhances its portfolio and makes it competitive on the larger scale, Snype said.

The company is contracted to complete over one million square-feet of interior plastering and drywall and 600,000 sq.ft. of exterior masonry using a newly developed limestone finish that only a few companies are capable of installing. The work pushes the Florida-based company over the edge into a higher realm in the construction arena, Snype said. Other minority firms may get the same opportunity.

Orangeburg’s Minority-owned Paragon Builders has a $1.6 million contract with the project to provide site set-up trailers, decks, dumpsters and other general trades facilities, Snype said. Freeland Construction of North Charleston is one of the project’s on-site project managers.

Snype expects that many of the minority firms on his master list of minority contractors will be used in the project. Overall 20 percent of contracts are anticipated to be filled by minority contractors.

Snype said the Horus contract offers other benefits because most of the work will be performed by area businesses. Some 100 jobs are expected to be generated and filled through the local workforce, he said.

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Submitted By: Roger Clegg Submitted: 3/13/2013
Re "Snype expects that many of the minority firms on his master list of minority contractors will be used in the project. Overall 20 percent of contracts are anticipated to be filled by minority contractors.": Why do race or ethnicity need to be considered at all in deciding who gets awarded a contract? It's good to make sure contracting programs are open to all, that bidding opportunities are widely publicized beforehand, and that no one gets discriminated against because of skin color or national origin. But that means no preferences because of skin color or what country your ancestors came from either--whether it's labeled a "set-aside," a "quota," or a "goal," since they all end up amounting to the same thing. Such discrimination is unfair and divisive; it breeds corruption and otherwise costs the taxpayers and businesses money to award a contract to someone other than the lowest bidder; and it's almost always illegal—indeed, unconstitutional—to boot (see 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and this model brief: ). Those who insist on engaging in such discrimination deserve to be sued, and they will lose.

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