KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new training center under construction on Prospect Avenue in Kansas City has more minority contractors working on it than many other commercial projects in Kansas City.
The Blue Hills Community Service Center hopes to teach young African-Americans the skills they need to get them jobs in the construction trades.
“We have a lot of kids who don’t know how exactly to get into the trades; doesn’t have an idea of how to get into the trades, but when you hire them their enthusiasm and their attitude is so great you want to put them in the trades. It’s hard to put them in the trades when there’s no available work for minority participation,” said Mike Richardson.
The $3.1 million center is being built with federal money from the Green Impact Zone and a Kansas City Community Development block grant. Many construction companies say it’s hard to find minority workers with the skills they need, but Blue Hills Community Services held a series of outreach meetings, which helped them match minority workers and businesses.
“I know that we’ve intentionally brought on more minority and women owned businesses than other developments because it’s a priority for us to have this building in the community built by residents surrounding our community,” said Cliff Pouppirt with Blue Hills Community Services.