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Coalition Protests Trinity Project

More Minority, Local Hiring Sought

August 2, 2005
By ASHLEY L. BATTLE, Courant Staff Writer

A coalition of contractors and union and business leaders held a protest Monday at which they accused Trinity College of not using enough local and minority-owned businesses on a new $20 million sports complex.

The Connecticut First Coalition also complained that the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance has supported Trinity throughout the development and construction process. The protest, which drew several hundred people, began at SINA's headquarters at Washington and Ward streets and marched to the Trinity campus. The group had hoped to meet with President James F. "Jimmy" Jones Jr., but he was not on campus.

The coalition's members include area contractors, community leaders, politicians, local business owners, minority organizations, union members and various other Hartford area building and trade groups.

"There is nothing in place right now for the project to hire minorities from the city," said Joslyn Chance Jr. Chance, of Hartford, is the owner of JFC Construction and treasurer of the Greater Hartford Minority Construction Council.

Chance said that those present at the rally hoped to make the project inclusive "one way or another." In the end, he said, Connecticut First wants 20 percent of the workers on the project to be members of minorities and 30 percent of the contractors to be Hartford residents.

Chance complained that Hartford-area construction workers have not been approached by O & G Industries of Torrington, which will be building the complex, to participate in the project.

"We pay taxes. Why aren't we partaking in these projects? We should not be excluded. We feel like we are being excluded," said Chance.

Gus Rodney of Hartford, executive vice president of the Greater Hartford Minority Construction Council, added, "We want a lot of minorities working on this site."

Chance said Connecticut First plans to hold another rally in two weeks, when Jones will be on campus.

"We're not going away," said Charlie LeConche, board member of the coalition.

Rama Sudhakar, a Trinity spokeswoman, said Trinity went with the lowest construction bidder.

"Throughout this process, SINA and Trinity College have made every effort to comply with state and federal regulations. We did everything by the book," she said. SINA officials were not available for comment.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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