The National Association of Minority Contractors is a national non-profit trade association established in 1969 to serve the advocacy, training and business development needs of the over 5000 minority contractors in America. The Southern California Chapter, established in 1995 to address local issues and opportunities, is one of 18 affiliates across the United States. Through advocacy and education, NAMCSC promotes the economic and legal interests of minority contracting firms. By reducing and removing barriers to full equality, NAMCSC helps bring about wider procurement and increased business opportunities for members and minority contractors everywhere.
In July 1969 more than 300 minority contractors met in San Francisco to join forces and develop ways to remove themselves from the outer fringes of the construction industry and join the mainstream. Their ideas and vision resulted in the formation of the National Association of Minority Contractors.
They were looking to overcome a major obstacle when it came to not only construction contracts, but anything else that was positive in the way of economics, social, or political gain. That obstacle was the concept of “for whites only."
In its simplest form, it meant that if you were of African, Latin or Asian descent, you had to wait for -- or in many cases were denied -- a chance at major contracting projects, whether public or private.
Railroad porter-turned-electrical engineer Ray Dones was the trailblazer leading the charge toward equal footing for minorities in the construction industry. His vision focused on eliminating the most common excuse for not hiring minority contractors: “not qualified.” Dones insisted on an educational approach to the problem one that would increase the number of qualified minority contractors and their capabilities through training, mentoring and advocacy.
That fateful meeting at the St. Francis Hotel ended with the nascent organization striving to meet three goals: Education of contractors, their workers and the surrounding community; establishment of a voice in Washington, D.C. to advocate the needs of minority contractors; increase in the market share of minority contractors in the construction industry.