By Carolyn Tisdale
Help is finally on the way for the predominantly black American city of Flint, Michigan. Also, the help is coming from a black-owned construction company that has existed in Flint’s black community for around two decades.
The Network Journal of Black Professionals and Small Business (TNJ) recently reported that W.T. Stevens Construction has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to replace contaminated water lines in the city of Flint.
This Michigan community has been suffering from the affects of a water crisis, which has poisoned residents and made people’s lives increasingly difficult.
Jeff Grayer, a former NBA player and native of Flint, Michigan is the project manager of W.T. Stevens Construction’s new venture to fix the city’s major water supply problems.
“This is home for me and my family and I wasn’t going to sit back and do nothing as a person or a businessman,” Grayer told TNJ.com.
Rhonda Grayer (pictured) is Jeff’s wife. Her family owns W.T. Stevens Construction and she serves as the company’s Vice President. The firm became a state certified lead abatement company in 2016. Lead is the toxic component in Flint’s water supply that has made it so dangerous.
In his exclusive interview, Jeff Grayer also told TNJ that the new contract to replace more than 18,000 contaminated water pipes in Flint is the biggest project ever for W.T. Stevens Construction.
“This is the biggest project our company has ever done and as a result of the water line contract, our gross revenues have increased by 70 percent,” Grayer said.
The former Milwaukee Bucks forward also said that his firm is the only black-owned construction company that has been awarded a major contract in light of the Flint Water Crisis of 2014.
“Our company is usually the only African-American-owned business to respond to request for proposals for various Flint city contracts even now after the court rulings related to the water crisis,” Grayer went on to say.
“This is a major project that will ensure public safety and start rebuilding trust between the city and the community…something that has been missing awhile,” he added.