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Continued: Minnesota's state Capitol restoration project failing diversity test

  • Article by: ALEJANDRA MATOS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 1, 2013 - 8:03 PM

Still, McMillen said, “we were quite surprised to hear our rating has been downgraded.”

McMillen said the company believes it was given a failing grade because of a mix-up over a letter. The state denies that’s the reason.

Christine Dufour, the department spokeswoman, said ratings reflect whether an organization is meeting or exceeding workforce goals and whether good faith efforts were implemented.

Internal shake-up

Lindsey said that while JE Dunn has not been able to meet the minimum standards for compliance, there has also been a “bit of a shake-up” at the department.

Last year, the employee who oversaw construction compliance retired for health reasons, and then her replacement also retired within five months.

Lindsey acknowledged that the transition affected the department’s communication with JE Dunn.

“We could have been more engaged in some of the respective efforts for this project,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said in the past two months he has been more involved with this function of his agency. He said the meeting with JE Dunn will be the first step to making sure the company is able to meet its good faith effort requirements.

Much of the work left to be completed in the contract will continue to be highly specialized. JE Dunn will need stone carvers and marble restoration specialists, McMillen said.

The company plans to create an apprentice program to make up for the lack of minority and female workers in these trades.

Alejandra Matos • 612-673-4028 • Twitter: @amatos12

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