October 10, 2013
LAWT News Service
October 28th marks the first time a partnership between the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Crenshaw Leadership Council and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), has resulted in an unprecedented Business Summit, focused on opportunities that come with a $2 Billion investment of public funds in South Los Angeles. The Metro to Crenshaw/LAX Business Opportunities Summit will feature the Diversity and Economic Opportunity Department (DEOD). Metro’s CEO, Art Leahy, has entrusted leadership of DEOD to a woman with years of experience and measurable success, Ms. Linda B Wright, Executive Officer. Ms. Wright is responsible for providing resources and support to minority and women owned small businesses that want to do business with Metro.
Ms. Wright said the upcoming Business Summit will give Metro an opportunity to educate and inform local small and minority owned businesses about the broad range of opportunities and most importantly how to take advantage of these opportunities.
Ms. Wright has a passion for helping small business owners succeed and her time at Metro has given her an opportunity to make sure millions of dollars in government contracts have been awarded to small, women and minority owned businesses in Southern California. “The Business Summit is going to be an important event for the community and I cannot stress the importance of signing up early to attend,” said Ms. Wright.
Ms. Wright came to Metro after years of running her own small business, verifying Labor Compliance, which means making sure that employees were being paid prevailing wages for their work. That experience has made her especially sensitive to the needs of small and women owned business. When asked about the secret to her success at Metro, Ms. Wright’s answer is simple. “I rely on a staff of dedicated ‘super-stars,’ who work tirelessly to find, nurture and grow SBE/MBE businesses.” My team goes to great lengths to see to it that any opportunity at Metro is broadcast to our target community, whether by hosting events, speaking at small group meetings, or calling potential SBE/MBE firms to make sure they are aware that an opportunity has arisen.
“The small, women and minority owned businesses in our region have continued to grow in sophistication and have increased their capability to be competitive on Metro and other projects. I am proud to say that in the last year, over $21 million in DBE Commitments and $5.7 million in SBE Commitments has helped grow fledgling businesses into solid and powerful businesses, with the help of DEOD.” Through outreach and informational activities sponsored by Metro, the community is learning how to tread the path to robust partnerships among each other and with larger firms. Through the Transportation Business Advisory Council (TBAC), Meet the Buyers, Meet the Primes and smaller events, DEOD has become known as a major resource for business accessibility.
The Metro to Crenshaw/LAX Business Opportunity Summit marks the first time Metro will take key business units directly to South Los Angeles in an effort to match business and economic opportunities between Metro and small and minority owned businesses in the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Transportation Corridor. The DEOD team will be there to answer questions about certification, procurement and more. To Register for the Business Summit occurring at the California African American Museum on Monday, October 28th please visit www.metrosummitla.com.