August 2, 2005
By ASHLEY L. BATTLE, Courant Staff Writer
A coalition of contractors and union and business leaders held a protest
Monday at which they accused Trinity College of not using enough local
and minority-owned businesses on a new $20 million sports complex.
The Connecticut First Coalition also complained
that the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance has supported Trinity
throughout the development and construction process. The protest, which
drew several hundred people, began at SINA's headquarters at Washington
and Ward streets and marched to the Trinity campus. The group had hoped
to meet with President James F. "Jimmy" Jones
Jr., but he was not on campus.
The coalition's members include area contractors, community leaders,
politicians, local business owners, minority organizations, union members
and various other Hartford area building and trade groups.
"There is nothing in place right now for the project to hire minorities
from the city," said Joslyn Chance Jr. Chance, of Hartford, is the owner
of JFC Construction and treasurer of the Greater Hartford Minority
Chance said that those present at the
rally hoped to make the project inclusive "one
way or another." In the end, he said, Connecticut First wants 20 percent
of the workers on the project to be members of minorities and 30 percent
of the contractors to be Hartford residents.
Chance complained that Hartford-area construction
workers have not been approached by O & G Industries of Torrington,
which will be building the complex, to participate in the project.
"We pay taxes. Why aren't we partaking in these projects? We should
not be excluded. We feel like we are being excluded," said Chance.
Gus Rodney of Hartford, executive vice
president of the Greater Hartford Minority Construction Council, added, "We
want a lot of minorities working on this site."
Chance said Connecticut First plans to hold another rally in two weeks,
when Jones will be on campus.
"We're not going away," said
Charlie LeConche, board member of the coalition.
Rama Sudhakar, a Trinity spokeswoman, said Trinity went with the lowest
"Throughout this process, SINA and Trinity College have made every
effort to comply with state and federal regulations. We did everything by
the book," she said. SINA officials were not available for comment.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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