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More Background on Smith & Johnson

In an online article published today in the Engineering News-Record, more details surfaced about Smith & Johnson, who earlier this month defaulted on their contract to build Section 54C of the Findlay Connector. S&J had won the contract with a bid of $45.7 million which was $6 million less than seven other bids. They had been on the job for 22 motnhs and nearly 2/3rds ($30.7 million) of the adjusted $47 million contract was paid by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

It does appear that Smith & Johnson is out of business.

Near the end of the article, some new and interesting details are revealed:
In 1997, the National Labor Relations Board described Smith & Johnson as a “disadvantaged minority business enterprise headquartered in Columbus, Ohio” and “primarily engaged in heavy highway (bridge, culvert, and roadway excavation as well as installation of guard rails) construction in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia.” The case involved a complaint against the company by a union seeking recognition and bargaining rights on behalf of some of the contractor’s employees.
A "Disadvantaged minority business enterprise"? It is/was a minority run operation but what do they mean by disadvantaged? Granted this is a nearly ten year old case but what was it about, and was the PTC aware of this NLRB case?

Something about the phrase "disadvantaged minority business enterprise" just doesn't sit well or makes sense with me. It is known that many minority-owned construction firms have had numerous un-neccessary roadblocks in gaining large contracts, but "disadvantaged"? Double redundantcy? Oxymoron? Beaurcratic babble?

See: PA: Contractor defaults...work stopped on Findlay Connector.

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