The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) are partnering for a new training program.
Announced Sept. 13, the initiative aims to elevate minority, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWSDBE) and service-disabled veteran owned businesses (SDVOB) located primarily in Newark and Elizabeth to compete for prime and subcontractor opportunities associated with the AirTrain Newark replacement program and other projects.
The AirTrain – which debuted in 1996 and has probably outlived its useful life – is slated to be replaced as part of a more than $2 billion project that will supplant the existing system with a new 2.5-mile automated train system that officials hope will begin service in 2026.
In March, the project took another step forward when the Port Authority selected three automated-people-mover (APM) system technology firms to advance to the next round of a multiphase procurement process.
“The AACCNJ applauds the Port Authority and its team of professionals in their support of our collaborative approach to identify talented businesses from communities near the proposed AirTrain Newark replacement program at a time when others are trepid about creditably engaging MWSDBE and SDVOB enterprises to compete for public and private sector opportunities,” said John Harmon Sr., the founder, president and CEO of AACCNJ.
As part of the program, participants will be connected directly to leaders in finance, law, accounting, information systems, procurement, supply chain, bonding and human resources, with program sessions held at Rutgers Business School in Newark.
A first cohort of students went through an eight-week program launched by the Port Authority, AACCNJ, Newark Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), and Integrity Compliance Consulting (ICC) with a curriculum that included:
- Marketing, branding and an elevator pitch;
- Project and document management and construction management;
- Job cost;
- Bonding, general conditions for bidding, project labor agreements and prevailing wages;
- Work schedule and forecasting;
- Estimating, scheduling and change orders;
- Joint venture and contract law; and
- Financials, bookkeeping and taxes.
The second cohort began Wednesday with classes starting Sept. 20.
“This is a one-of-a-kind executive education, workforce development and bonding capacity building program,” said Lyneir Richardson, assistant professor of practice at Rutgers Business School and executive director of Newark CUEED. “It leverages the Port Authority’s commitment to local contracting, the connections of AACCNJ, the research on minority business development of CUEED and expertise in procurement of Integrity Compliance Consulting.”
More training opportunities
On Sept. 13, New Jersey American Water launched its third annual workforce training program with a new partner. Click here to read more.
The Port Authority says the effort is another way it is working with to local communities around its facilities to develop programs for workforce development; job creation; diversity, equity and inclusion; and education.
“As one of the largest economic generators in the region, we have a commitment to an inclusionary contracting practice and to ensuring the economic benefits of our infrastructure projects are available to the communities surrounding our facilities, which includes job opportunities,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.
“The Port Authority recognizes the value of a diverse workforce and supplier base that reflects our region,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “That diversity will help enhance and promote our operational effectiveness, our brand and our impact in the community, particularly as we are modernizing our facilities.”