Yvette Greene Dennis, Executive Vice President of Program Management for The Crescent Companies, is a 42-year veteran of the construction industry. She is currently working on the contract with PANYNJ to manage compliance for the JFK Redevelopment Project. Yvette is known for her contribution to the industry especially as it relates to participation of local community Minority and Women Owned Businesses. She has worked on projects including Metrotech, Brooklyn Marriott Hotel and Barclays Center. Most recent projects include Jamaica Crossings and the Archer Green. Yvette is a member of the Executive Board of the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the JFK Chamber of Commerce and the JFK Rotary Club.
1 Can you tell us about the role of Crescent Consulting in the New JFK Redevelopment.
I am the Executive VP Of Program Management. We are the consultants for the Port Authority in place to assist the PANY/NJ and the New JFK Redevelopment developers with their M/WBE goals. We do community outreach and meet on a weekly basis with the community to help them prepare for upcoming opportunities. We introduce them to the Port Authority Diversity Team who manages M/WBE certification for PANY/NJ. We also advise qualified companies on obtaining NYC and NY State certifications. We are available to meet with local businesses every Monday from 12-5 at the JFK Redevelopment Community Information Center located at 144-33 & 35 Jamaica Avenue Jamaica, NY 11435.
2 How will local and M/WBE firms benefit from the New JFK and the opportunities the project will present?
M/WBE’s as a whole will be able to benefit from this project through the committed efforts that have been and will continue to be put forth by the Port Authority. The Port Authority is making all efforts to make sure that qualified firms are truly given opportunities.
3 What can small businesses and individuals do to prepare for opportunities that will be available over the next few years in construction and airport development?
Certification is key. Everyone needs to understand the significance of being certified. Make sure that your reputation precedes you and that your work ethic is a priority.
4 Why is it so critical that companies that are working within NYS and PANYNJ guidelines for M/WBE participation use a company like Crescent Consulting to ensure goals and objectives are met?
Crescent’s goal is always to make sure that M/WBE’s are given a fair shot at work that they qualify for and that they are aware of opportunities that any job Crescent is a part of. Crescent has a vetting system that is meant to ensure that many M/WBE’s who are capable and qualified will be on the radar of those critical project decision makers. When a Project Developer works with Crescent, they can be sure they are compliant and participating within guidelines developed specifically for the success of the project.
5 With workforce development being such a hot topic, what are some of the challenges in our metropolitan area that are causing shortages of trained individuals? What is going on to increase the availability of skilled workers?
Challenges that are causing a shortage of trained individuals is that most of the training programs that charge a fee are too expensive for individuals and the free programs that are provided are far and few between and they fill up quickly. Crescent along with The Thomas White Jr Foundation offers an annual free OSHA training in Jamaica. When this class is made available and publicized, immediately there are inquiries. And even with a stringent vetting process put forth to ensure that the right placements are made, the class fills up extremely quickly. There is definitely a need for more free classes and also more affordable classes.