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USF mentorship program aims to boost minority businesses

usf building.png
Posted at 10:34 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 06:58:05-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Come Spring of 2023, USF students will roam the halls of the newly built Judy Genshaft Honors College.

But even before the doors open to them, those working on building it said lessons are already being learned here.

"Feels like I'm standing in a dream," said Allen Greene President of Envision.

Greene tells ABC Action News that his company's involvement in the construction project was made possible through a partnership program created by the University of South Florida's Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD).

"This is actually one of the first projects that we won in partnership with the Beck team," said Greene.

Since 2017, the OSD has been working to pair smaller minority-owned businesses with larger companies to help tackle services for the university. The smaller businesses gain mentorship, exposure, and a chance to work on bigger projects—and the larger companies get help on the job and a chance to give back.

And the woman behind the program, Terrie Daniel, tells us that allyship is at its core.

"To me, allyship is using your power, your influence, and your ability to create opportunities," said Daniel the OSD Assistant Vice President.

And the folks over at the Beck Group, the second half of the construction partnership, said a desire for that level of allyship is why they signed up for the program in the first place.

"As you rise, we're going to bring others up with us. It doesn't mean a whole lot if we just pad our own pockets with success if we're not helping someone else," said Ryan Toth, the Regional Director of the Beck Group.

And as the team moves closer to the finish line on this project, Greene encourages other small business owners to take a chance on the program.

"I would say try. I have never failed by trying," he said.

The USF OSD is holding an informational meeting Friday morning to talk about the expansion of this program when it comes to other University projects.

Click here for more information.