Exclusive: Medical Mart Diversity? - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Exclusive: Medical Mart Diversity?

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Who's really working on the Medical Mart project in downtown Cleveland?

White, black or Asian? Is there diversity on this $465 million project? 

Investigator Scott Taylor asks the tough questions in a 19 Action News Investigation.

MMPI, who manages the Medical Mart is not very happy with Scott Taylor asking why there's only a 19% minority work force on the project.

The county has a 39% minority population and Cleveland is higher at 67%.

Over the last 72 hours reporter Scott Taylor has taken his own diversity head count at the Medical Mart and the highest percentage found was 15% black.

The county's 19% just announced at a public meeting which was private until Scott Taylor started asking questions about government being open to everyone.

"There is some institutionalized racism we have to deal with. It's not just the African American community. Everyone with conscience has to say something is wrong here and we have to fix it," said Senator Nina Turner.

The project is exceeding it's goals on small business enterprise inclusion and county and city resident participation. Way to go!

The past county administration deemed it illegal to set goals on minority participation at the Medical Mart, so now the new administration says it's trying to improve the percentage.

"There is a legitimate concern on every project in Cleveland, Ohio about maximizing minority participation and female participation. It's a legitimate concern," said Atty. Jeff Applebaum.

Turner construction, in charge of building the Medical Mart, didn't have a problem answering Scott's question.

"Trust us we are doing everything we can but there is bigger problem globally than just this project," said Mark Dent.

"So you're not happy with the numbers either," asked reporter Scott Taylor.

 The black contractors group is upset over the 19%.

"They have abandoned residents. The black and minority residents in the city and the county," said Norm Edwards.

Norm Edwards and the Black Contractors Group are so serious about diversity that they plan to stage a protest on the diversity of the Medical Mart on Friday.

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