CHICAGO -- As the 1060 Project comes to a conclusion this year with the restoration of Wrigley Field and the surrounding real estate development called Gallagher Way, the Chicago Cubs and Hickory Street Capital (HSC) today announced that more than $90 million in construction contracts were awarded to diverse and women-owned enterprises since October 2014.
As a privately-financed project, there were no city, state or federally mandated M/WBE contract requirements. Delivering on their promise to be a good neighbor, the Ricketts family made a voluntary commitment to ensure the contractors and laborers working on the historic project reflected the cultural and gender diversity of skilled construction talent from the Chicago metropolitan area.
“Providing opportunities to help grow and build diverse business enterprises in our hometown was simply the right thing to do,” said Cubs Executive Chairman Tom Ricketts. “I couldn’t imagine restoring this treasured ballpark that has provided enjoyment to generations of Cubs fans without the collective talent and power of Chicago’s diverse construction community.”
The Cubs hired Chicago-based diversity and inclusion consulting firm Target Group to oversee and execute the diversity and inclusion plan for the project. Working with the 1060 Project team, which included the Cubs, HSC, CAA ICON, Pepper Construction, Clune Construction and Walsh Construction, Target Group worked with the project managers and contractors to identify meaningful opportunities for M/WBE participation prior to beginning of each phase.
“To achieve meaningful diversity and inclusion goals, whether they are mandated or voluntary, requires committed leadership from owners and general contractors,” said Target Group President Joe Williams. “We commend the Ricketts family, CAA ICON, Pepper Construction, Walsh Construction and Clune Construction for their commitment to achieve ownership’s ambitious voluntary goals.”
To date, approximately 168 contracts were awarded to 79 firms from the Chicagoland area. Of those firms, 34 received additional contracts providing an opportunity to extend their work on the project.
Two M/WBE firms that worked on the project, MACK Construction Services and Express Electric Supply, received the 2019 Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award from the Cubs during an on-field ceremony today in observance of Jackie Robinson Day. The award highlights firms that reflect Jackie Robinson’s character and commitment to excellence while continuing to break barriers.
Express Electric Supply President Rodney Thompson was appreciative of the Cubs efforts and believes there are still barriers to diverse participation in the construction industry similar to what Jackie Robinson faced 72 years ago.
“When diversity is mandated then it’s not utilized to its full potential,” said Thompson. “Embracing diversity as an advantage creates expanded opportunities and speaks volumes about the Ricketts family’s commitment to M/WBE participation.”
Workforce diversity also was an important facet of the 1060 Project’s diversity and inclusion program. Thirty-eight percent of the total hours worked on the project were performed by diverse and women tradespeople during the entire five phases of the project.
“We take great pride in achieving the project’s voluntary diverse workforce and contract goals,” said Pepper Construction Executive Vice President Jim Nissen. “We were very fortunate to work with an outstanding organization like the Cubs which truly values the diversity of the Chicago construction community. Preserving the ballpark with such a diverse team is an experience we will never forget.”
Tariq Butts who was a laborer on the project for all five phases said this opportunity turned a South Sider into a Cubs fan due to the Ricketts family’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“For the Cubs to embrace diversity and inclusion without being required sets new standards for ensuring people in my community have opportunities to work,” said Butts. “Beyond my work as a laborer, I was able to assume a variety of roles and acquire skills that will help me in future endeavors.”
For Butts, it was an opportunity of a lifetime. “I was able to participate in the revitalization of Wrigley Field before and after the Cubs won the World Series and I feel blessed to be a part of this historic project.”