Clemson University and CU-ICAR Receive Diversity Award

October 12, 2008

CLEMSON, SC – October 10, 2008 – The Minority Economic Development Institute Inc. has presented Clemson University and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) with the Corporate Suppliers Minority Business Award.

The award was given at the second annual awards dinner at the Carolina First Center in Greenville as part of Minority Enterprise Development week. Leon Wiles, Clemson’s chief diversity officer, and Jerry Knighton, assistant director for office of access and equity and outreach coordinator for CU-ICAR, accepted the award on behalf of Clemson University. S.T. Peden, Minority Economic Development Institute president and CEO, presented the award.

Clemson University and CU-ICAR received the award for leadership in employment of minority- and women-owned businesses during the first phase of construction of CU-ICAR.

The minority business utilization plan was established in fall of 2006, calling for CU-ICAR to aim for a minimum double-digit minority business participation in procurement contracts.

“CU-ICAR’s goal is to create a model program to encourage greater minority business participation within the university and to serve as a guide for the development of similar initiatives across the state,” said Bob Geolas, executive director of CU-ICAR.

The diversity initiative of CU-ICAR not only includes construction contracts, but service contracts as well, including janitorial services, landscaping and waste management. As a result, CU-ICAR had 51 percent minority involvement. Some minority business enterprise members that were contracted include Myles Construction Co. Inc., Commercial Fabricators Inc., Artistic Concrete Construction, Phillips Lawn Care and South Co Grassing Inc.

“This is a best practice that we need to apply to all of our construction projects,” said Clemson University President James F. Barker.

The Collaboration Plaza Project and Technology Neighborhood One aspects of CU-ICAR are part of this diversity initiative. Technology Neighborhood Two will also be developed under this initiative over the next few years.

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