Breaking Barriers: Black Contractors Gear Up for Birmingham’s Star Amphitheater Construction Amid $1B Boom

Breaking Barriers Black Contractors Gear Up for Birmingham's Star Amphitheater Construction Amid $1B


In the heart of Birmingham, Alabama, a massive building project is underway, sparking excitement and anticipation throughout the state. The Star Amphitheater in Birmingham project has become a focal point of interest, not only for its scale and significance but also for the promise it holds for fostering diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.

Jarrod Sims, President of the Black Contractors Association Alabama Chapter (BCA-AC), shares the enthusiasm surrounding the project. “We are very excited to be a part of this monumental project,” Sims expresses, reflecting the sentiments echoed by many within the BCA-AC. “We have received calls from all over the state about the Amphitheater project,” he adds, emphasizing the widespread attention and anticipation it has garnered.

However, amidst the excitement, there is a notable point of interest that cannot be overlooked. “I too am eager to see this project happen,” acknowledges Sims, “but we have seen many high-profile publicly funded projects that did not have much in the way of Black Construction Professional participation on them.”

“This lack of participation raises concerns, particularly in light of Birmingham’s demographic makeup, where approximately 69% of residents are African American. It’s essential to recognize that Black residents in Birmingham are taxpayers and thus have rightful expectations of being included in the construction process. The absence of Black contractors and professionals not only undermines the principles of diversity and inclusion but also perpetuates disparities within the construction industry. Representation matters, especially given that all citizens, regardless of race or background, contribute to these projects through their taxes.”

The Birmingham Star Amphitheater project represents an opportunity to address these disparities and break down barriers that have hindered the full participation of Black contractors and professionals. With an estimated $1 billion construction boom taking place in Birmingham, the city has adopted a resolution for the Amphitheater project requiring all publicly funded projects to meet certain diversity and inclusion targets for subcontractors and hiring. This new ordinance sets the threshold at 30%, which is an encouraging step forward.

The BCA-AC is committed to advocating for the inclusion of Black contractors and professionals in the Star Amphitheater project and similar endeavours. “We see this as an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and create pathways for Black entrepreneurs and professionals to thrive in the construction industry,” asserts Sims. The new ordinance holds great potential, and we are confident that we can meet and even surpass the 30% threshold with the support of organizations like the BCA-AC and BCIA, established to assist MBE/DBE/HUB companies.

Through outreach efforts, partnerships, and advocacy initiatives, the BCA-AC aims to promote awareness and facilitate opportunities for Black contractors to participate meaningfully in the project. We have made a clear declaration that meeting the 30% threshold will not be an issue. We are engaging with stakeholders, advocating for equitable procurement practices, and providing support and resources to Black-owned businesses, ensuring that the Birmingham Star Amphitheater project reflects the diversity and talent of the local community.

Furthermore, the involvement of Black contractors and professionals brings unique perspectives, skills, and experiences to the table, enriching the project and contributing to its success. By breaking down barriers and fostering inclusivity, the Birmingham Star Amphitheater project has the potential to serve as a model for future developments, inspiring positive change and advancement within the construction industry.

As the project progresses, the BCA-AC remains steadfast in its commitment to advocating for the interests of Black contractors and professionals. “We will continue to actively engage with stakeholders, monitor progress, and ensure that the principles of diversity and inclusion are upheld throughout the construction process,” affirms Sims.

In conclusion, the Birmingham Star Amphitheater project represents more than just a construction endeavour; it symbolizes an opportunity to break barriers, promote diversity, and foster inclusive growth within the construction industry. With the support and involvement of Black contractors and professionals, this project has the potential to leave a lasting legacy of empowerment and opportunity for generations to come, because representation matters.

More articles

Exciting Announcement!

Attention all construction enthusiasts, professionals, and entrepreneurs! We’re thrilled to unveil the launch of a groundbreaking news platform that’s set to revolutionize the industry: The

Read More »