by: Richard Elliot Updated:ATLANTA —
Officials with the new Atlanta Falcons stadium project met with female and minority business owners Wednesday and gave them information about the $1.2 billion plan.
Stadium officials said they've set a goal of hiring at least 31 percent female or minority-owned business to help build the 1.8-million-square-foot facility and maintain it after it’s built.
"I came here to learn about opportunities," said Dorothy Harris, the owner of D. Clark Harris Inc. program and construction management firm. "I was overwhelmed by the number of people who were here. That tells you a sign of the times, and people are very interested in working for this project."
Millicent Abbey owns a small janitorial company hit hard by the bad economy. She said winning one of the bids to clean the 75,000-seat stadium would mean everything to her.
"It would be huge for me," said Abbey. “It would be epic. Due to the economy, I haven't had a lot of work, so I'm anticipating being a part of this big, great opportunity. Everybody needs something cleaned. That would be me."
Brothers Tiijon and Diijon DaCosta thought they would get a chance to make a presentation on behalf of their Lithonia-based company DaCosta Plumbing and Backflow Engineers. They were disappointed to learn it was just a meet and greet, a chance to shake hands with stadium officials and exchange business cards.
"We were just hoping to get a good, better understanding about the new Atlanta Falcons stadium," said Diijon DaCosta. "Winning this contract will be a big gain for us."
Stadium officials at the Georgia World Congress Center meeting declined to be interviewed.