"Part of PDC's mission is to create quality job opportunitiesfor all citizens," says Don Mazziotti, PDC Executive Director."It's just as important to do that directly - through ourcontracting and work force training processes - as indirectly bystimulating new development."

PDC attributes the growth in minority participation to anintensified outreach effort to train and attract such businessesfor construction projects and "personal services" contracts such asengineering, architecture, writing and graphic design. There are1,500 firms in Oregon certified as disadvantaged, minority or womenbusiness enterprises and/or as emerging small businesses.

PDC's efforts to increase minority pariticpation in its projectsstems from a 1996 "disparity study" funded by a consortium oflocal, regional and state agencies. The study found that minorityand women business owners were struggling with discriminatoryactions and attitudes in the regional construction and relatedtrades.

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