Laland Baptiste has mentored and provided Construction Management services to contractors enrolled in the New York City Department of Design and Construction Mentoring Program since its inception in 2021. In 2023, the first project kicked off at the Bellevue Men’s Shelter in Manhattan’s Kipps Bay neighborhood.

Working closely with Approved General Contracting, a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) general contractor, we provided mentoring in the form of project planning, subcontractor approvals, invoice processing, change order processing, schedule management, facility coordination and integration in working with NYC public agencies. Approved General Contracting successfully performed their scope which was instrumental in the continued upgrades and improvements of the men’s shelter.

“It was important to us to be a part of the Department of Design & Construction Mentor Program, because we understand the challenges facing MWBEs looking to break into the construction industry,” said Schillivia Baptiste, CEO of Laland Baptiste. “Through the program we are able to share our knowledge, expertise, and best practices, and prepare rising MWBE firms to meet the needs and demands of a growing city.”

“I’m thankful to be selected as part of the first cohort for DDC’s new M/WBE mentoring program,” said Jose Fernando Garcia, owner of Approved General Contracting. “The program offers great tools for minorities and small businesses such as support from consultants and project managers.”

The success of this project is a testament to what can happen through hard work, determination, good mentorship, and concerted effort to make sure doors aren’t just opened for MWBE and small firms in New York, but that they remain open, bringing in more and more talent in the process.