PRWT Services, Inc. CEO Malik Majeed Appointed by Governor to Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board

Majeed will join other business leaders from different industries to help advise Gov. Shapiro on creating new job opportunities in the commonwealth.

(Nov. 1, 2023) PRWT Services, Inc. is proud to announce Malik Majeed, CEO of PRWT Services, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary U.S. Facilities, Inc. (herein described as “PRWT/USF”), was recently appointed to the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board by Governor Josh Shapiro. Majeed will join business leaders around the commonwealth to help advise the governor on creating new job opportunities.

The Workforce Development Board is under the Department of Labor & Industry and serves as a private-sector advisory board that helps employers find skilled workers and creates ways for workers to have career advancement opportunities. The board was established in 2001 and seeks the voices of leaders from different industries across Pennsylvania to address challenges around labor shortages and skills training today while ensuring to prepare a workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.

“It is a great honor to be appointed to the Workforce Development Board and join industry leaders from across the state to find ways we can create new job opportunities,” said Majeed. “I’m also proud that PRWT is seen as a leader in our industry and thankful for the opportunity to serve the hardworking people of Pennsylvania.”

Governor Shapiro announced that a record $400 million over the next five years could be committed to workforce training, which would create 10,000 new jobs. With these large investments and bold goals, the governor has appointed a series of qualified and impressive leaders to serve with Majeed on the board.

Some of the members include Chairman and CEO of Sabre Systems Philip Jaurigue, Executive Director for Penn Medicine Center For Health Care Innovation Roy Rosin, and County of Berks Human Resources Manager Marguerite A. Kline.

Majeed stands out for his 16 years in executive roles at Philadelphia’s largest minority owned firm. For more than 36 years PRWT/USF has provided and managed back-office and clerical support for government and private companies nationwide, and managed, maintained and improved a wide range of built environments, from Class A facilities and campuses, distribution centers and manufacturing plants. The company also provides infrastructure support for the transportation sector which includes our nation’s roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, and maritime substructures all while continuing to invest in its employees and in the communities in which they work.

On top of his remarkable corporate experience, he brings a unique perspective through his advocacy for urban youth. He has volunteered at the Urban League of Philadelphia and connects students at Martin Luther King High School with mentors and scholarships.

“Providing youth with workforce opportunities must be a priority if we are going to create new career pathways and family sustaining jobs,” said Majeed. “Mentorship and internship opportunities can create lasting skillsets for today as well as tomorrow’s job market no matter the neighborhood or income level.”

###

Philadelphia Inquirer: It shouldn’t take a pandemic for Black-owned businesses to get supportBlack-owned businesses are key to Philly’s economic recovery. 

by Malik Majeed, For the Inquirer

Updated May 25th, 2022

https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/black-owned-busineses-philadelphia-economic-recovery-covid-20220525.html

As we learn to live with COVID-19 as an endemic virus — rather than a pandemic — Philadelphia’s economy faces an inflection point.

COVID has taken a toll on all businesses, but Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Research estimates the United States has lost 40% of its Black-owned businesses since the pandemic started. Philadelphia has fared better than most, losing only 8% of its Black businesses during that period. But every loss matters, as these businesses make up a tiny 6% of companies in the city.

Moving forward, the key to unlocking the city’s economic prosperity will be found in providing more support to Black- and brown-owned businesses.

As the CEO of Philadelphia’s largest Black-owned company, I understand that Black and brown business owners have to prove our worth every day. My colleagues and I have walked in the shoes of start-up companies, where profit margins are razor-thin and challenges abound, which is why we contract with them for needed services whenever possible. We hope through this intentional effort we are showing what equitable recovery looks like.

We are not alone in these efforts.

Throughout the last two years, several programs have made a difference, like Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program, which reserved $100 million of its $200 million pool for business owners of color during the pandemic.

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia also launched its Recharge & Recover PHL initiative, which has a goal of making Philadelphia “a place known for its support of Black, brown, and other minority-owned businesses.” Several influential Philadelphia organizations also launched the Greater Philadelphia Financial Services Leadership Coalition, which funded an additional $100 million for grants to businesses owned by Black and brown people. Additionally, 100 of the region’s largest employers — including PRWT Services Inc. and our wholly owned subsidiary, U.S. Facilities Inc. — created a public-private Diverse Procurement Collaborative to diversify contracting in partnership with Philadelphia’s Chamber of Commerce.ADVERTISEMENT

Federal support has also extended an essential lifeline to businesses owned by Black and brown people. The American Rescue Plan allocated funding for emergency grants for small businesses with a focus on Black businesses. The ARP’s $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative also provides capital to small businesses in areas with economic disadvantages, including to businesses owned by Black and brown people.

Moving forward, this should be the new normal. It should not take a pandemic for governments, organizations, and private companies to invest in Black- and brown-owned businesses.

As the city and its civic leaders continue to discuss how to propel our economic recovery in a post-pandemic world, these conversations must prioritize a focus on sustaining economic recovery and growth for Black-owned businesses.

I have been inspired by how Black-owned businesses in our city have weathered the pandemic and maintained their services. They are law and PR firms, developers, accountants, financial services, restaurants, hair salons, bookstores, and gyms; but to their communities, they are so much more. They are the economic stronghold supporting their people. They represent a model of resilience for every worker and business.

But I am also aware of the businesses forced to permanently close their doors because of COVID. The lack of consistent resources prior to the pandemic created a void, and the resources provided during an urgent time of need were not enough. These businesses did not have the chance to come out stronger on the other side. They deserved — and still deserve — better.

Malik Majeed is president, CEO, and general counsel for PRWT Services Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, U.S. Facilities Inc.

A Real Opportunity for Black- and Brown-owned Businesses to Grow in Philadelphia

By Malik Majeed

I am very encouraged by a new program initiated by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia. It is called the Diverse Procurement Collaborative. The program commits 100 of the region’s largest employers to increase the diversity of their contracting networks, bringing more Black- and brown-owned businesses into the contract pipeline in the Philadelphia area as regional employers begin to recognize true shareholder value extends beyond the bottom line.

Our Chamber partners need look no further than our company’s model to show how giving a small Black- and brown-owned under-resourced company an opportunity led to big outcomes. PRWT Services, Inc. (PRWT) started out in Philadelphia by operating one call center as a subcontractor supporting the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Today we are a prime contractor for that agency.

We were given an opportunity, and we proved ourselves, which allowed us to grow and manage operations nationwide. In turn, we continue to hire employees who look like us and come from our neighborhoods, helping us build an economic ecosystem that improves the prospects for those neighborhoods now and into the future.

The unfortunate reality is people tend to hire people who look like them, talk like them and act like them. It is an unconscious bias that we all have, and it creates an ongoing negative cycle. If there is no basis for economic opportunity for Black- and brown people, they are not going to find jobs. If they do not find jobs, they are not able to provide for their children.

It also means they are probably not in a good position to set the positive examples their children need, leaving them without hope.  We have all witnessed the negative impact this has on Black- and brown communities and our society in general.

The participation the Chamber is trying to inspire is very noble.  However, to have demonstrable, repeatable, long term results, the region’s largest employers must live up to this pledge by following through and awarding contracts directly to Black- and brown-owned businesses, or, by insisting the businesses they are doing business with award contracts to Black- and brown-owned businesses via subcontracts. In addition, the region’s largest employers must recognize and be willing to spend a little more and take a little more risk in doing so.

As I have told my peers, other companies are able to spread their costs across multiple contracts, so they can price their proposals lower. Unfortunately, Black and brown businesses and small diverse companies are not able to spread their costs across multiple contracts.  Usually, they are living off one or two active contracts at a time. They do not have the capacity to spread costs across multiple contracts in the same way as larger companies.

One opportunity is great! However, if you want to see Black and brown businesses become successful and grow, you must provide those businesses with additional opportunities. And as their customer base grows, you will see them hiring and providing opportunities to other Black and brown businesses. Indeed, a recent McKinsey study found that if we can get to a point where there’s revenue parity between Black-owned and white-owned businesses, it could add billions of dollars to the national economy.

This effort by the Chamber over the next two years is not just a feel-good plan. It is about measuring results and sharing best practices.

At PRWT and our wholly owned subsidiary U.S. Facilities, Inc., we practice what we preach. We provide others with opportunities. We hire, purchase goods and services and contract with other diverse companies, providing individuals a chance to support their families and/or grow their businesses. We also mentor other diverse companies.

Regional employers cannot nickel and dime diverse businesses over shareholder value because true shareholder value cannot always be measured in dollars and cents. When people’s houses are getting boarded up or whole neighborhoods are going under while a company’s stock price is going up, what are we doing to our cities and our country? That is what all of us in positions of corporate leadership must consider.