I was checking the headlines at the LA Wave this morning, and came across an interesting story. There’s been a lot of hype about how great the Crenshaw Light Rail Line will be for the surrounding community, but I guess that doesn’t extend to providing jobs for local contractors. You can read the story by clicking here.
One aspect of the story that caught my attention is that the Young Black Contractors Association (YCBA) is planning a protest against the Los Angeles Urban League. The word is that the League has been chosen as the outreach coordinator for general contractor Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors. The YCBA suspects that the League is going to take a few million from Walsh/Shea without making any real effort to bring local black contractors and construction workers onto the project. This is a fairly common ploy. In recent years non-profits have been starved for cash. Developers and contractors know this, so they offer a bunch of money to these groups to get their support. That way, Walsh/Shea can say, “Hey, the LA Urban League is backing us up!” Unfortunately, non-profits are sometimes willing to go along with this if they need the money badly enough. It’ll be interesting to see if the YCBA can make enough noise to bring jobs to a community where they are really needed.