In his first executive order since becoming the mayor of Gary in January, Jerome Prince this week directed city departments to further engage businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans for work within the city.
Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the city intends to collaborate with local and state agencies that already maintain an existing list of underrepresented businesses to provide them a chance to seek city contracts.
The executive order comes just weeks after Prince and area union trade leaders announced plans to work closely Spectacle Entertainment to ensure Hard Rock casino construction jobs go to local workers, particularly Gary residents and minority-owned businesses.
The $300 million project is expected to bring about 1,000 construction jobs.
The publication says the order states such firms “have access to and participate fully in the procurement process from the time of solicitation to contract award.”
To ensure local businesses are not excluded, the mayor said consideration will be prioritized first to Gary businesses and then businesses located in Lake County, in Northwest Indiana, the state, and then the Chicago area.
Prince said the city can realize a “robust, self-sustaining local economy” if minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses are included in the contract letting process.
To qualify, minority, female or veteran ownership must be at least 51% in each respective company.