Clark kicked off the inaugural Houston program with a full-day orientation for participants, led by Dr. Leonard Greenhalgh, Director of Programs for minority- and women-owned businesses at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business. The SPP’s curriculum combines classes taught by Clark professionals and local industry experts with interactive team projects and specialty workshops. Throughout the course, participants will focus on a range of business and construction industry topics, including financial statements and accounting, insurance and bonding, estimating, purchasing, and project management. The program’s curriculum also includes business competencies such as networking and presentation skills. The SPP participants complete an intensive capstone project and presentation to conclude the program.
Clark founded the SPP in 2006 to provide small and diverse businesses with the training, knowledge, and resources necessary to compete for — and successfully perform — work on large-scale construction projects. Since its inception, the company has expanded the course to nine markets across the country. To date, more than 1,500 small business owners and leaders have successfully completed the intensive program, gaining the capabilities, and confidence to take their businesses to the next level.
“The impact of small and diverse firms within our industry cannot be understated. Small businesses bring skilled trade expertise that is essential to our success as a builder and allows us to deliver important assets that positively impact our communities,” said Cara Lanigan, Chief Executive Officer of Clark’s Central Group. “The launch of our Strategic Partnership Program in Houston underscores Clark’s commitment to Houston and long-term investment in growing small businesses throughout this region."
The launch of the Strategic Partnership Program in Houston is on the coattails of Clark’s Small and Diverse Business Expo. The event engaged more than 200 minority-, women-, and veteran-owned firms at the hub of the city’s innovation district, The Ion.
The Strategic Partnership Program is part of Clark's holistic approach to developing and mentoring small and diverse businesses, and complements the company's SDBE15 program, a corporate commitment to achieving at least 15% small or disadvantaged business participation on all projects — even those that do not otherwise have prescribed business requirements.