Clark Construction Group celebrated the achievement of 23 local small business leaders, the newest graduates of its Strategic Partnership Program (SPP), at a graduation and award ceremony and luncheon Wednesday at The Waterfront Restaurant on The Embarcadero. The 2018-2019 class is the fifth to graduate in San Francisco, and the largest cohort to date.
The SPP is an intensive, eight-month MBA-style course targeted to local small-business enterprises including minority-, women-, and veteran-owned firms. Since its inception in San Francisco in 2014, 77 entrepreneurs have completed the focused professional development and mentoring program, which Clark offers to qualified participants at no cost. The primary goal of the SPP is to enhance the capacity of small, local contractors to contribute to large-scale, high-valued construction projects in the Bay Area.
“You have made us better. This is exactly what small businesses need; we need to know how the big companies work so we can be more competitive,” said graduate Dulce Morales, Principal of San Francisco-based and woman-owned MSA Design & Consulting. “This has been an amazing experience and my business will incorporate everything I have learned in this class.”
“This program has taught us invaluable skills, but just as important are the relationships that have been established,” said graduate Triston Williams, founder and CEO of Streamline Drywall, “The insight of the instructors in relating what we learned, making the connections to how we as a small business can improve our services, has been priceless.”
In addition to the technical and business skills acquired, participants become part of a supportive SPP network, and benefit from ongoing access to Clark’s professional resources.
“There is a tangible benefit to local economic growth when we are able to help build local small business capacity and provide opportunities for them to work alongside us on our projects. We consider it an honor to be able to have a meaningful impact on the communities in which we work and live,” said Marivic Bamba Chennault, Clark Director of Community Engagement.
Mike Ricker, Clark Senior Vice President, added, “Although this is a graduation event, it’s really the start of the relationship for us with all the companies here, and not the end. We want to make sure Clark remains a resource for our graduates.”