NAACP urges closer scrutiny of transportation contract

Friday, September 4, 2009

ST. LOUIS -- The NAACP has criticized a Missouri official's explanation about why so few minority-owned businesses are getting contracts for transportation projects generated by federal stimulus money.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Wednesday criticized comments made by Lester Woods, external civil rights director for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

It said Woods blamed geography for the lack of contracts to minority-owned firms in urban areas, saying much of the work is in rural Missouri.

Woods said Thursday he thinks his earlier remarks have been misunderstood. He said every contract is an opportunity for women and minority contractors, and that he shares the NAACP's goals on the issue.

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