Small business experiences huge growth in working with HISD

Small-business professionals heard a success story Tuesday about a minority-owned company that has taken its business to new heights, earning contracts to build HISD’s new Milby High School and DeBakey High School for Health Professions.

“Everyone in our construction office is ecstatic about the work they’re doing,” said HISD Team Lead for Supplier Diversity Bernard Willingham, who shared Taylor Construction Management’s story with about 200 small-business professionals at the Greater Houston Business Procurement Forum’s monthly breakfast.

“This company has experienced 500 percent growth, which is incredible,” Willingham said. “They’re setting expectations for what small businesses can accomplish.”

Willingham also highlighted the company’s participation in the Interagency Mentor-Protégé Program, designed to help small businesses improve business plans and skills. The program is sponsored by HISD, the City of Houston, Metro, and the Port of Houston Authority.

“We’re [managing] more than $500 million in construction work with HISD alone,” said Taylor Construction President Troi Taylor, who thanked HISD and other large companies such as Exxon Mobil and the Houston Community College System for providing small businesses with resources to obtain contracts. “It wasn’t enough just to have work. It’s also been about how to sustain work.”

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who was honored with a Humanitarian of the Year Award at the event, also shared the importance of minority- and women-owned business contracts. She said the city plans to help small businesses that are doing good work leverage opportunities to do work for the city.

“We have one of the most robust entrepreneur programs in the country, and that is critical to our economy’s future,” Parker said.