Flint, Michigan residents are finally getting their prayers answered. After three long years without clean water, the government and state have put together a fund to fix Flint’s pipes. W.T Stevens Construction, a black owned and women led construction company has been contracted to restore Flint’s water.
Based in Flint since the 1990’s, W.T Stevens Construction’s founder, ran it for 30 years, but passed away in 2002. His daughter, Rhonda Grayer, is the head of the company and works with her siblings in an effort to preserve their father’s legacy. Grayer is also supported by her husband, Jeff Grayer, who is a former pro basketball player. As project manager, he will have a hand in restoring Flint’s water as well.
The government has chosen only four construction companies to handle this project. W.T Stevens is the only company that is black owned, led by women, and whose owners are Flint natives. The pipe replacement is a three-year long project that will be financed by the government-state fund that is worth over $97 million. The company hopes to replace over 18,000 pipes in those three years and 6,000 by the end of this year. This project is the biggest one they have ever received and will it will increase their gross revenue by 70%. They are preparing to work towards this goal by hiring and training more workers. Some of these workers range from former convicts to unemployed Flint residents.
Rhonda Grayer and W.T Stevens Construction show the power of what black owned small businesses can achieve if given the opportunity. With the government and state putting money into their business, that money will be used to help Flint’s black community. This is further showing the strength of investing in companies who have and will continue to give back to their communities.
It can also be mentioned that Grayer is a black woman in a powerful position in a male dominated industry. Despite this, she is expanding her business, teaching others important skills, helping her community, and getting a huge BAG at the same damn time!!!! She is a prime example and encouragement for why black girls should and can go into male dominated careers instead of being discouraged to do so.
Great job, Rhonda. Grayer. Continue to break the mold and set great examples of powerful women supporting and enriching the community. #blackgirlmagic
– Amalachi Okpalanma