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Cordish Approaches Affirmative Action Goals for Power & Light District

By Sylvia Maria Gross

Kansas City, MO – The company developing the new Power & Light district downtown announced yesterday that it is exceeding city goals for the participation of minority and women-owned businesses. But according to numbers submitted to the city in December, Baltimore-based Cordish Company actually fell short in the area of construction services, and is about on target for professional services. Operations Director Zed Smith says the company expects to exceed contractor participation goals and will not ask the city to waive them.

SMITH: We have worked not to do that, so we're sticking with our agreement and we anticipate reaching the goals that were established.

Smith says Cordish responded to concerns that bid packages are often too large for small companies to handle.

SMITH: Because we're not building a 20 story building here, we were able to create smaller bid packages that some of these smaller and midsize minority contractors could participate in.

The Power and Light District is a third of the way towards its goal for minority and women workers on construction sites. Smith expects Cordish will hire about 200 new employees at the downtown entertainment district after construction is complete. There are no affirmative action goals for those positions.

The city auditor began examining Kansas City's Minority and Women Business Enterprise Program after the council waived affirmative action requirements on the Sprint arena project. A report is due out in April.

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