Introduction: The $4.9-billion airport people mover at LAX is the largest contract in the Los Angeles’s history and entails what looks to be one of the most ambitious efforts in the U.S. to ensure that local businesses and affected communities participate in the design, construction and operation of a major infrastructure improvement. Starting with a look at the inclusivity challenge accepted by the private developers at LAX, this issue of Public Works Financing explores the role of the P3 industry in meeting the growing expectation of owners that a rising tide lifts all boats.
by Dale Bonner, Executive Chairman, Plenary Concessions
The U.S. population is incredibly diverse, particularly in urban centers and regions with fast-growing needs for infrastructure. Experts say in a few short years, over half of all families will be multi-cultural. Demographics are driving calls to diversify the workforce. Many U.S. businesses have taken up the challenge albeit it with mixed results.
When it comes to public-private partnerships for infrastructure, demographic trends are rapidly changing the face and attitudes of government clients and the many stakeholders who influence the trajectory of the market. This is particularly true at the local level. Elected officials and the public agencies they oversee are beginning to view diversity through a much wider lens to encompass a range of skill sets and perspectives that gender and ethnic diversity can bring to long-term partnerships. Increasingly, they seek partners that reflect the communities they serve.