Today Market8, one of the five remaining contenders for Philadelphia’s casino license, announced new endorsements for its project: those of the Philadelphia NAACP; the Urban League of Philadelphia (ULP); the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC); and the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
The endorsements shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, at least coming from ULP and UAC, with whom Market8 worked to create an inclusion strategy to benefit members of the community who are not generally included in the success of such ventures.
The NAACP's Jerry Mondesire was impressed by the plan: “I don’t know of any other organization doing a major project that has put this much thought into its inclusion plan,” he said, explaining his organization's endorsement.
There are six minority members of the 12-member Market8 investment group, which is significant, said African-American Chamber Board Chairman Steven Scott Bradley:
“These are people who understand the dynamics of the African-American community, who have created opportunities for minorities and who have run businesses and built wealth. Their priorities are reflected in this project’s inclusion approach and we are confident in MARKET8’s ability to deliver for our community.”
What does this inclusion strategy look like? Just some of the minority-related features include:
• A hotel that will be minority-owned and operated;
• Policies and procedures of construction and operations phases that open things up to businesses owned by minorities and women.
• 40-45% minority, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprise contracts for construction
• 40-45% minority/women/disadvantaged workforce (a subset of these would be veterans and/or may be formerly incarcerated people) for construction
• 24% MWDBE contracts for operations
• 45% minority/women/disadvantaged/disabled (a subset of these would be veterans and/or may be formerly incarcerated people) for operations