One Year Anniversary of Transportation Diversity Council’s
Initiatives to Build Historic Partnership with Cuba
On August 2, 2015, Transportation Diversity Council (TDC) led a trade mission to Havana, Cuba. History was made when TDC provided opportunities for minority and women officials from the transportation, construction, and engineering industries to meet with the Cuban business community. During the visit, delegates met with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and government run transportation system.
Over the past year, Transportation Diversity Council has made significant progress in building its relationship with Cuban officials by collaborating on the development of strategic initiatives that will benefit both the United States (U.S.) and Cuba as doors of opportunity open for U.S. based companies to conduct business in the island nation.
Dwayne C. Sampson, President/CEO, will travel to Havana for a third time to meet with officials from the Cuban government to discuss the initiatives.
1. Parque Martin Luther King Restoration Project:
Parque Martin Luther King (MLK), located in the Vedado district, is dedicated to civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. The park is in disrepair and needs significant restoration. TDC leadership presented a proposal to redesign and restore the park to representatives from Cuban historian Eusebio Leal Spengler’s Office. Mr. Leal is the director of the Old Havana restoration project. Under the direction of TDC, the MLK project plan, design, and budget were created by Hill International, Inc., LANGAN, and Cesar Studio Architects & Planners.
TDC received verbal commitment that the Cuban government will restore the park at their expense, with TDC playing a key role during the restoration process.
2. Workforce Development
Cuban officials have shown interest in TDC's proposal to provide workforce development. One aspect of the program will be to prepare students for skilled trades by creating an exchange program between students from Cuba and New York’s Bronx Design and Construction Academy. Students who are selected to participate in the program will develop skills in trades related to carpentry, plumbing, electrical systems, and HVAC systems. Students will also have options to participate in pre-architecture and pre-engineering programs.
The other aspect, will be the development of a training program specifically for Cuban residents. This program will be designed to improve worker's skills to match U.S. and international construction standards.
3. Entrepreneurial Development
TDC will work with officials to create programs and mentorships that will help Cuban entrepreneurs develop and grow their small and micro businesses.
As TDC moves forward with its initiatives in Cuba, it will continue to keep its leadership, members, and the Department of State informed of its efforts.