Lakeside Alliance Remains Committed to Minority, Women-owned Businesses

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessLakeside Alliance, builders of the Obama Presidential Center, released their 2023 Community Impact Report which showcases their commitment to minority and women owned businesses in the construction industry. Diversity and Inclusion Co-Lead for Lakeside Alliance Pamyla Brown shared with Lawndale Bilingual News the significance of the Impact Report and how partnerships with small and minority businesses are key for a successful future.

Lawndale Bilingual News: Lakeside Alliance recently shared the 2023 Community Impact report showcasing their commitment to fostering a relationship with minority and women owned firms regarding the Obama Foundation. What aspect of the Community Impact report do you find the most rewarding?
Pamyla Brown: From the moment we became the builder of the Obama Presidential Center, Lakeside Alliance has been committed to changing the paradigm of construction and creating opportunities for residents and communities who historically have been excluded from the industry. This does not happen without intentionality, so it is extremely rewarding to see we are meeting and exceeding our goals for diverse business participation and workforce participation from the South and West sides. In 2023, 52% of hours were performed by Chicago residents, including 38% from the South and West sides and 14% from local neighborhoods surrounding the Center. Of the $454 million committed to date, 35% is with minority business enterprises (MBEs), 15% with women-owned businesses (WBEs) and 9% with contractors from the community. You can read the full report at

Lawndale Bilingual News: The report demonstrated that Lakeside Alliance met or exceeded their goals when it came to partnering with MBE and WBE firms. Can you talk to me about the significance of providing opportunities for small and minority businesses?
Pamyla Brown: For far too long, minority and women-owned firms have not had access to opportunities within the construction industry. Lakeside Alliance set out to change that. We offered different sized bid packages so that diverse, small and local businesses could successfully compete for contracts and build capacity at the first tier. We hope that this project will allow them to make connections, gain experience, and be positioned for future success.

Lawndale Bilingual News: By partnering and showcasing the talent of minority and women owned businesses, how do you hope the partnerships inspire the next wave of youth living in the South and West Side neighborhoods?
Pamyla Brown: You can’t be what you can’t see. That’s why it’s critically important for young people of color, especially young girls, to see people who look like them working in the industry and finding success. Lakeside Alliance has found creative ways to engage next generation talent, including through our “Learning with Lakeside Alliance” programming, designed to provide hands-on exposure to the range of work within the industry. We also hosted a “Who Builds the World? GIRLS!” event during Women in Construction Week for young women and girls from sixth to twelfth grade to participate in different activities led by women in the industry, including women in the workforce, our Lakeside Alliance staff and women business owners. We hope experiences like these show our young people that there is a path for them in the construction industry.

Lakeside Alliance is a joint venture between Powers & Sons Construction Company, UJAMMA Construction Inc., Brown & Momen, Inc., Safeway Construction Company, and Turner Construction Company.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Photo Credit: Lakeside Alliance

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