SANTA CLARA (KCBS)—The San Francisco 49ers say they are making some changes over it’s minority hiring policy by opening up bids to create a more diverse workforce to build Levi’s Stadium.
Last April a civil rights group sent an open letter to the 49ers accusing the team of excluding minority-owned firms when they issued lucrative contracts to build the new $1.2 billion stadium.
“If they can reach out to white contractors and ask them if they are interested, why couldn’t they reach out to black contractors or other minority contractors,” Everett Glenn, president of a nonprofit advocacy group for black athletes, said.
But now, the team said they have made changes including reopening bids on several jobs and that several minority-owned firms have already been contracted for the stadium.
The Pleasanton-based Metro Contract Group, the team said, is now installing stylish furniture in bars, fan clubs and corporate suites.
While some have praised the changes, others say it is “too little, too late.”
Oren Sellstrom, legal director of the San Francisco-based Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, told the San Jose Mercury News that even after the negative publicity last year, he estimates that minority firms only received about 2 percent of those contracts.
The 49ers said that after receiving the letter last year, they ordered New York-based Turner Construction, the main contractor, to reopen bids on jobs that had not started.
The team and the top contractors say minority firms were left out of most of the construction work because the possibility of hosting Super Bowl 50 led to rushed hiring process in order to complete the massive project in record time.
The team said that after the facility opens Aug. 2, more minority firms will be involved.