Continental Tire is still in the early stages of it's rollout, but there is concern among minority contractors about their participation in the project.
A rally/protest is scheduled for Wednesday at Clinton City Hall.
Antonio Pope has formed a non profit called "No One Stands Alone." It's sole purpose is centered around the idea that Continental won't give minority and disadvantaged business a seat at the table.
"If you have a history of doing something, you're not going to change it," Pope noted. "So, this is not premature, it's right on time."
But the Hinds County Board of Supervisors disagrees and has released the following statement:
"It has long been the policy of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors that minority, women, disadvantaged and disabled veteran business enterprises be afforded the maximum opportunity to participate in the County’s contracting and procurement programs. To that end the Hinds County Board of Supervisors remains firm in its belief that there is a need for full and equal minority participation in all areas of government business, including the recent acquisition of Continental Tire.
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors has worked diligently for the past couple of years and several months, alongside other state and local officials, to ensure Continental Tire’s ability to deliver based upon commitments made during the negotiations stage of acquiring the plant. Great effort has gone into researching Continental Tire and meeting with company officials while considering Hinds County for its new home. Citizens can rest assured that minority participation was a major consideration during these discussions.
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors is confident through review of Information shared with state and local officials that Continental Tire is a fair and equitable organization that will make every effort to be inclusive and provide eligible, capable minority contractors, vendors, and individuals with various opportunities throughout the construction, manufacturing, and hiring process.
We urge all individuals and companies who are interested in being considered for hire at any point during the process to begin now preparing themselves by obtaining as much information as possible about requirements, obtaining and/or maintaining any necessary certifications in your field of expertise, and registering at the exclusive Continental Tire and Mississippi online portal.
We understand this is an exciting time for everyone in Hinds County and Mississippi. There are many economic development opportunities coming to our county and state and we want to make sure that anyone who wants to be involved in whatever capacity has a fair opportunity to do so."
Ultimately Continental is set to create 2,500 jobs in Hinds County.
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