Furor over flyers touting jobs stirs Las Vegas stadium meeting

Updated July 13, 2017 - 6:59 pm

Scores of people jammed the Clark County Government Center on Thursday looking for jobs and a way to sign up for them.

All they got was a meeting of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority and, eventually, a promise from stadium contractors that planning is underway to assure that 15 percent of the subcontracts and procurement would go to minorities and veterans.

Board members spent more than an hour taking public comments from people inquiring about a community benefits plan mandated by legislation establishing the financing of the 65,000-seat domed football stadium that will cost an estimated $1.9 billion.

Some cheered the efforts. Others said it wasn’t enough. And many came to the meeting after seeing a flyer stating there would be “pre-job recruitment sign-ups looking for 5,000 black men and women who want to go to work.” The flyer referred to the planned Las Vegas Convention Center expansion and projects by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts and Resorts World Las Vegas as well as the stadium.

Many of those who addressed the authority board were angered that there were no sign-ups, so they went to the board instead.

The flyer said the event was presented by churches of Southern Nevada and the Get Active Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in the west Las Vegas neighborhood.

Community activist Stanley Washington defended the flyer in his comments to the authority board. He didn’t respond to an inquiry on the flyer late Thursday.

But the big crowd did provide an audience for an update on the community benefits plan.

Lynn Littlejohn, director of community benefits for the stadium project, told the crowd that the community benefits program establishes Small Business Enterprise participation with a goal of 15 percent of contracts going to qualifying companies.

The program also provides a standard for workplace diversity, community engagement, technical assistance programs and internships. Contractors would have to meet specific limits on annual revenue, licensing and experience to qualify.

Raiders Executive Vice President Dan Ventrelle said the team is continuing to work on the plan with Littlejohn, who works with general co-contractors Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction and Henderson’s McCarthy Building Cos., and with State Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas.

The plan also is expected to include a means to monitor its implementation to assure minority and veteran participation.

While many in attendance were satisfied with progress on the plan, people attending the meeting hoping to learn more about the UNLV Joint Use Agreement and possible solutions to a stadium site parking shortage problem left disappointed. The board spent less than two minutes in its update on the agreement with board member Mike Newcomb of UNLV stating that the Raiders and the university are continuing behind-the-scenes negotiations on an agreement that would determine the Rebel football team’s access to the stadium, the playing surface and how UNLV’s scarlet and gray colors and logos would be positioned at the venue.

There were reports earlier this month that the Raiders may possibly be interested in campus parking availability on game days, but none of that was discussed.

After the meeting, Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said the Raiders are continuing to address the parking problem, exacerbated by skyrocketing land prices in the immediate vicinity of the stadium site as a result of the announcement that the venue would be built at Interstate 15 and Russell Road.

The Stadium Authority board did check off one more agreement necessary before construction could start on the project later this year. In a unanimous vote, the board approved a finding that the Raiders have demonstrated that they would be able to successfully develop and construct the stadium, a requirement of the legislation approving financing.

The Raiders introduced the Mortenson and McCarthy project leadership team to the board. None of the top leaders spoke, but board members have reviewed their credentials, which include Mortenson’s successful completion of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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