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Workforce Diversity-MWBE

East Harding is Arkansas’

construction industry leader related to the mentoring, training and capacity building of MBEs.

Minority contractor development

has been a passion for East Harding co-founder Bob East for over 20 years.

The Construction Mentor-Protégé Program

was developed by Bob and endorsed by Governor Beebe.

That is East Harding Construction!

UA-Little Rock Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences

East Harding awarded  a total of 27.5% of the contracts for this project to MWBE subcontractors.

Building Package Prime Contracts:  29
Total MWBE Contracts:  8
Percentage of Total: 27.5%

City of Little Rock | 12th Street Station

For this project, East Harding formed a joint venture company with minority-owned Adevco Construction.   Both firms provided executive, project management and supervisory manpower and expertise to the project.

In addition to East Harding’s 75/25 joint venture partnership, this project awarded 14% of all subcontracts to MBEs in a competitively bid process.  This brings the total for MBE participation on this project to 39%.

The 44,000 square foot facility was completed on schedule and under budget in August 2014 and achieved USGBC LEED Silver.

Little Rock Technology Park

As construction manager on Phase I of the new Little Rock Technology Park, East Harding Construction awarded 26% of subcontracts to MWBEs in a competitively bid process.

The 28,590 sf (417 Main Street); and, 10,020 sf (415 Main Street) renovation was completed on schedule and under budget in 2017.

UALR Nursing & Health Sciences

Built in 1947, the former Administration South Building, 3-story, 34,000 sf, was renovated to house the growing Nursing and Health Sciences Program.

This project awarded 28.0% of all subcontracts to MWBEs in a competitively bid process. The facility was completed on schedule and under budget and achieved USGBC LEED Gold.

Minority Business Enterprises (MWBEs)

The goal of East Harding’s proven Minority & Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) program is to build capacity among Arkansas-based MWBEs through a competitively bid construction delivery method which creates diversity in the workforce.

East Harding is Arkansas’ construction industry leader related to the mentoring, training and capacity building of MWBEs.  Minority contractor development has been a personal passion for East Harding co-founder Bob East for over 20 years.  In 2008, Bob developed the Construction Mentor-Protégé Program and presented it to Governor Beebe.  The Governor endorsed the program and appointed Bob as the Chairman.  At that time, Bob recruited the CEOs of our peer companies to participate in the program, recruited MWBEs to participate, assigned MWBEs to each construction mentor company, and managed the program that is training the MWBEs about every aspect of commercial construction.

After two years of meeting and mentoring, Bob realized that what the MWBEs really needed was the opportunity to work on large-scale commercial construction projects.  To achieve this goal, the MWBE program needed a public sector leader willing to implement the program on a large-scale public project.  UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson championed the program and helped get alternate solicitation and bidding guidelines approved by the University of Arkansas System.  Since that approval, UALR has enjoyed a high rate of MWBE success on two consecutive projects.


Here is how the program works:

Preconstruction Phase:

During this phase, all project documents are written to encourage maximum participation from qualified MWBE contractors during the competitive bidding phase.  One key element is that, although every qualified bid must be accepted, the project is not required to advertise publicly for bids.  Rather, East Harding actively invites qualified MWBE subcontractors and works closely with them during the pre-bid phase to ensure that they are prepared to bid accurately and competitively.  Despite the focus on MWBE participation, it is important to note that East Harding’s first responsibility is to deliver the lowest construction price possible to the client.  Competitive bidding among qualified subcontractors ensures the lowest price possible.

Competitive Bid Phase:

During this phase, qualified MWBE contractors are invited to bid individual trade packages as prime bidders in every trade possible.  In trade packages where there are no qualified MWBE contractors large enough to bid as the prime bidder, East Harding will encourage non-MWBE prime bidders to invite and partner with qualified MWBE contractors as a 2nd tier subcontractor to the prime bidder.  East Harding, as construction manager, also reserves the right to pair non-MWBE prime bidders with a qualified MWBE contractor when feasible.  It is stated that MWBE participation can be a criterion for final selection and contract award.