Mentorship Program is Focus of MWL “Chat and Chew”

On December 20, 2010, participants in the Columbia University Mi
Seated in front, from left,
New York City Commissioner Robert Walsh, Facilities Executive
Vice President Joe Ienuso, Columbia University Construction Master's Program Director Dennis Green, and La-Verna Fountain, Associate Vice President, Construction Business Services and Communications (standing).
nority-, Women- and Locally-Owned (MWL) Construction Trades Management Certificate/Mentorship Program joined with senior executives from the University and the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to "Chat and Chew" in a free flowing conversation regarding the Certificate/Mentorship Program and other initiatives designed to assist the MWL community. Several members of Columbia University Facilities' MWL Advisory Council joined the event to hear first-hand the activities that are working in the program and those areas the participants would like to see enhanced. 

Columbia University School of Continuing Education (SCE) and the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Devleopment Center (SBDC) wer

From left, mentees Dale Edwards-El from Office of Contracting and Louis Padilla from Marmolp General Contracting Corp. discuss the mentorship program with Columbia University Facilities Executive Vice President Joe Ienuso.
e also present. SCE developed and manages the academic portion of the program. Following the successful completion of the nine-month rigorous educational portion of the program, participants receive a Certificate of Completion. Along with SBS, the SBDC provides one-on-one technical assistance to any participant seeking additional services. 

Columbia University Facilities Executive Vice President Joe Ienuso and SBS Commissioner Robert Walsh listened carefully to the participants and shared key updates and observations regarding the program and some of the realities facing the construction industry. Both praised the participants and credited their staff for tirelessly working to improve the program and







New York City Commissioner Robert Walsh addresses the University's MWL mentees.

bring opportunities to the participants.

The MWL Certificate-Mentorship Program allows MWL firms to become better equipped to competitively bid on projects with Columbia, New York City and beyond. As of September 30, 2010, more than $32 million in prime and sub contracts has been awarded to 26 MWL mentorship firms by New York City and Columbia University. Twenty-four firms have received additional technical assistance through SBS and five firms through the SBDC. For more information, please visit the "MWL Business Initiatives" section of this Web site.

From left, Touba Modarres from Bita Inc.
joins Columbia University Facilities Project
Manager Keith George and her sister
Fatemeh Modarres, also from Bita Inc.