Constructing Communities

Ujamaa Construction was originally founded in 2002 by Jimmy Akintonde, President and CEO. In 2017, however, Ujamaa Construction opened an Atlanta based office led by Co-Principal and Executive Vice President Todd Pressley. Serving as a general construction company specializing in demolition and mill work, Ujamaa has grown to an organization of 75 employees and projected growth throughout the southeast.

After opening the Atlanta office in 2017, Ujamaa Construction soon began working as a client of the Atlanta MBDA Centers. Since becoming a client, Ujamaa has pursued and received a number of contracts via the assistance of the Atlanta MBDA Centers staff. Most notably, Ujamaa was contracted on the START to Build Program for the Microsoft Atlantic Yards Project in Atlantic Station. The Atlanta MBDA Centers START to Build program is a client-led consortium that includes construction firms, specialty trade contractors, and developers, as well as facilities management firms interested in building connections to create new business opportunities.

In opening the Atlanta office, Ujamaa was specifically looking to fill the gap of black owned construction companies operating on the south side of Atlanta. Operating on their business values to help contribute back to their local communities and rebuild rundown areas, Ujamaa centers their projects around their tagline Rebuilding our Community One Block at a Time. At this time, Ujamaa has been contracted for a number of projects with Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Atlanta including Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University. They have also been involved with a mentorship program through Construction Ready West Side Works to help open up opportunities for apprenticeships in the construction industry.

To learn more about Ujamaa make sure to visit their website, LinkedIn Page, and Facebook page.

Pandemic. Pivot. Profit.

Sanquinetta Dover, a South Carolina native, received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in economics.  One of her first positions after graduation was in New York City.  Ms. Dover began working as a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) bank liquidator. She noted that she quickly climbed the rankings in her group, travelling around the country helping to close and liquidate failing banks. Soon after relocating to Chicago, she realized that there existed no more opportunities for growth or upward mobility in her work, and after taking advice from some of her career mentors, Ms. Dover became an entrepreneur in Chicago in 1984.  She later moved to Atlanta in 1996 and founded DoverStaffing.

DoverStaffing provides full-service staffing solutions within Georgia and the Southeast Region. Today, DoverStaffing is one of three groups that operate under the Dover Brands alongside human capital management consulting firm DoverSolutions and workforce training group Dover Training Institute. DoverStaffing and the other Dover Brand groups have had continuous success over the years, securing an official, state-wide contract with the State of Georgia in 2008 to provide staffing services for Georgia state government agencies and University System of Georgia operations.

Ms. Dover stated that her relationship with the Atlanta MBDA Centers began after participating in a number of events through the National MBDA. She later became a client of the Atlanta Business Center in 2005, and she has participated in a number of programs offered by both Centers including yearly attendance in the advanced manufacturing summit, attendance on trade missions to South Africa and China, and participation in financial round table discussion with other clients.

“One thing about the workshops and the seminars that I have been able to attend is that they’re a great way to learn overall… This will be our 5th year [attending the manufacturing summit], and I always learn something new, inspiring, and innovative that I can bring back and share with my team.”

Sanquinetta Dover

Most recently, Ms. Dover has capitalized on the assistance offered by the financial team at the Atlanta MBDA Centers on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application. Ms. Dover observed that the loan forgiveness application process was very convoluted and that she specifically employed the knowledge and expertise of the Atlanta MBDA Centers to help her through the process. According to Ms. Dover, the advice and direction offered to her by the Center’s staff changed her understanding on various portions of the application process and guided her in the right direction. After receiving funding for the first round of PPP, Ms. Dover sought assistance from the Atlanta MBDA Centers when she needed to complete her application for the second round of PPP.

The future looks bright for DoverStaffing! After sustaining themselves through a global pandemic, Ms. Dover felt the drive to reevaluate the operations and services provided by her brands. As a lifelong learner, Ms. Dover constantly looks for new ways to pivot for her brands to stay current and relevant. After the mass online shift as a result of the pandemic, Ms. Dover began exploring opportunities to provide more training services online and other ways to shift into a virtual environment.

DoverStaffing is currently staffing remote/work from home call center positions that provide information on rental assistance programs. They are currently looking for individuals who speak English and bilingual Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, or Vietnamese. For details on this position and to register for future opportunities, please go to Find a Career at www.doverstaffing.com

To learn more about DoverStaffing, make sure to visit their website and follow their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.