Calls For Equity in Construction is About More Than Addressing Discrimination
Douglas J. Guth, ideastream
Dominic Ozanne, president and CEO of Ozanne Construction Co., doesn’t mince words when relaying the origins of his Black-owned family business. When Ozanne’s father Leroy incorporated the company in 1956, he surmounted police-enforced segregation by harnessing a southern Louisiana upbringing where quitting was never an option.
“Dad was out bidding work and getting performance bonds,” said Ozanne. “He overcame all of that with determination and skill and a southerner’s attitude.”
Today, opportunities for minority contractors are out there, though not at the level that some observers hope for. A Cuyahoga County-led disparity study found gaps between the number of local minority- and women-owned shops and the contracts awarded to them.