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Barack Obama, the Construction Industry in New Jersey and a Hoboken Firm

NJ.com - January 2009

Today's economy may be hitting construction firms hard, but not so for Hoboken construction management company the McCloud Group. This week, McCloud received a $1.05 million contract to build a magnet school in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The McCloud Group has been based in Hoboken for the past five years. Locally, they've built the City Hall in Hammonton, NJ and are currently working with New York School Construction Authority and the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

"We've had a great year -- 2008 was a record year for us. We increased our New York business by over 100 percent," said McCloud today.

New Jersey, however, is a different story.

"We lost ground in New Jersey due to budget issues," said company founder Robert McCloud. For example, McCloud's contract to do renovations at New Jersey City University was suspended in 2008 due to funding cuts.

"The state of New Jersey is going through some difficult times and until we can resolve some budget issues it will be an uphill battle for construction firms," said McCloud. He is hopeful, however, about President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan.

"There's a great deal of work to be done. I'm sure we can come out of it as a state and I'm very optimistic that it will be a good run in the next four years for the construction business."

Coincidentally, that million-dollar contract is the largest the city of Bridgeport has ever given to a minority-owned firm; McCloud is African-American.

"We didn't compete as a minority firm; we just happened to be one," said McCloud. "It was the top companies in the industry; we put our best foot forward and we were lucky enough to get selected."

Still McCloud said he supports initiatives likes Women and Minority Business Enterprises, which certain municipalities are required to hire for a percentage of their contracts.

"Those programs should never be taken away," said McCloud. "Without them we wouldn't have been able to make it."

 


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