A few days before the nation celebrated Labor Day, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council released their 2016 Annual Report.
The publication features their Minority Business Enterprise and corporate member statistics, success stories and event highlights of the past year. It provides a wide-ranging view of the economic and social impact of EMSDC’s work, as they continue to certify, develop, connect and advocate on behalf of their constituents.
“The success of MBEs is crucial to the overall economy, and to building healthy, self-sufficient communities. At EMSDC we look to support their efforts by assisting MBEs in our region to align with the contracting needs of corporations, and break into new markets; while connecting corporations with MBEs that can expertly fulfill their outsourced needs,” said Valerie Cofield, EMSDC President and CEO.
In the midst of Labor Day celebrants were eight million minority-owned businesses in the U.S. that contribute $1.4 trillion in economic output, and create over 7.2 million jobs, representing 29 percent of all firms in the U.S., according to statistics from the State of Minority Business Enterprises report by the Minority Business Development Agency.
Two legendary entrepreneurs, Milton A. Washington and Reginald L. Lewis, have paved the way and contributed to MBE statistics, and continue to set records and lead by example. Washington, Pittsburgh business leader and philanthropist, passed away in October 2016. He was CEO of Allegheny Housing Rehabilitation Corporation. Lewis, based in New York, was the first African American to build a billion-dollar company as the owner of TLC Beatrice International Foods. He passed away in 1993. The two were recently represented by their daughters, Lara Washington and Christina Lewis Halpern, during the EMSDC Youth Entrepreneur Scholarship Golf Outing.
AHRCO is a real estate company based in East Liberty that’s committed to the strategic development and effective management of affordable housing in Western Pennsylvania. The company employs 70 people and manages 1,700 rental units, serving communities throughout Rankin, Braddock, West Mifflin, Homewood, Oakland, the Hill District, and the North Side. Lara Washington is the second generation to lead the business. Continuing her father’s legacy, she is on the board of directors of The Buhl Foundation, Vibrant Pittsburgh, Landmarks Development Corporation and the Allegheny Conference. She has a B.A. in Economics from Brown University and an M.B.A. and Master of Education from Stanford University.