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White men got 51 percent of minority program money

PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 6, 2010 (AP): The first audit of a Portland program designed to hire more minorities and women for public construction projects shows businesses owned by white men snagged 51 percent of the money.

Of the $13.7 million allocated since 1997 through the Sheltered Market Program, companies owned by white women received 25 percent, African-Americans got 11 percent, Latinos 9 percent, Native Americans 3 percent, and Asian Americans 1 percent.

When city officials adopted the program, the ordinance said it would remedy the disparity found in a 1996 study, which showed racial and gender bias in public construction.

Mayor Sam Adams championed the program as chief of staff to then-Mayor Vera Katz. He defended it Tuesday in an e-mail to The Oregonian. He says the results show improvement is possible, and there’s a lot more work to be done.

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

 

 

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