ICI Paints Teams With U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association To Create Jobs And...

ICI Paints Teams With U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association To Create Jobs And Spur Economic Growth In Construction Segment

MOU signed on Capitol Hill in Washington DC today


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Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–March 23, 2004–ICI Paints, a worldwide leader in marketing, manufacturing and distributing respected paint brands, and the U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association (USHCA) today entered an agreement to help both organizations explore ways to expand their business opportunities and encourage economic growth.

Representatives from both organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the agreement on Capitol Hill today during a ceremony witnessed by Ruben Barrales, Deputy Assistant to President George Bush and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Members of Congress including Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (D-TX-28).

“It is my great pleasure to be here today to witness the signing of this agreement. I applaud the efforts of the United States Hispanic Contractors Association to expand opportunities for small and minority owned businesses. They have shown that working together can expand competition resulting in benefits for both businesses and their employees,” said Congressman

Rodriguez.

ICI Paints, through its “Why ICI Paints” business proposition, offers members of the USHCA programs to build their businesses, grow margin, drive out costs and reduce risk. Specific programs include credit services, small business development strategies, leveraged buying power and state-of-the-art painting solutions, all tailored to better serve Hispanic businesses. Over time, they will help make Hispanic contractor businesses more capable, more competitive and more productive than ever before.

In turn, the relationship with USHCA will give ICI Paints a preferred position among contractors who make nearly $500 million in paint purchases annually plus access to qualified Hispanic job candidates to supply ICI Paints’ growing roster of Hispanic employees. In total, the relationship has the potential to make a significant contribution to economic growth and job creation in the United States via the exploding Hispanic population within the contractor segment.

Hispanic businesses or employees currently comprise nearly one-third of ICI Paints’ total customer base. In states with higher Hispanic populations such as Texas, Florida and California, where ICI Paints has large market presence, that number likely rises to as much as two-thirds Hispanic customers.

“ICI Paints has a vested interest in making its customers successful. If they succeed, we succeed. And now, we are in a position to help Hispanic contractors become as profitable and successful as they possibly can be,” said Larry Porcellato, CEO of ICI Paints. “In this manner, these contractors will be better able to compete for and get prestigious contracts, including coveted government jobs, and be recognized for high-quality work at the same time.”

“This new relationship provides the foundation for our organization to link with other companies to provide a similar opportunity in many, many sectors,” said Frank Fuentes, Chairman of the USHCA. “ICI Paints has recognized the growing power of Hispanics in the construction community and has stepped forward with the tools to help us become more productive, more profitable and more successful in our projects. Here is a great opportunity for a major international corporation to provide real, sustained long-term growth into the future, you need to have more Americans contributing to the economy, going to college, starting businesses, getting jobs and creating jobs.”

ICI Paints is part of the ICI Group (NYSE: ICI), one of the world’s largest producers of specialty products and paints. ICI Paints worldwide has 49 manufacturing sites in 25 countries and more than 15,000 employees. Headquartered in Cleveland, ICI Paints’ North American operations produce decorative coatings brands such as Glidden, Dulux, Ralph Lauren, Devoe, Fuller-O’Brien, Sinclair, C-I-L paint, Color Your World and Liquid Nails caulks and adhesives. Products are sold through ICI Paints company stores, national/retail outlets and independent dealers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and exported internationally. For more information on the company, visit http://www.icipaints.com/NA.

The United States Hispanic Contractors Association (USHCA) is a national, non-profit trade association based in Austin, Texas dedicated to providing the support necessary for the advancement, economic growth and full participation of Hispanic owned businesses in all areas of contracting and procurement contracts. With more than 150,000 Hispanic owned construction companies in the United States, the sheer number is impressive. USHCA builds new business opportunities for its members and for students who are key to the future of the profession.

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CONTACT:

ICI Paints

Matt Barkett

216-780-7800

or

USHCA

Frank Fuentes

512-627-2471

ICI Paints Teams With U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association To Create Jobs And Spur Economic Growth In Construction Segment