The 1st African-American Owned Railroad Construction Company In the U.S.
by Phyllis Cunningham
Valor and integrity are words that come to mind when you meet Melvin E. Clark, Jr. Esq., founding owner of the Metroplex Corporation. A gifted leader, Mr. Clark is currently the Chairman, Cheif Executive Officer, and owner of G.W. Peoples Contracting Company, Inc. a DBE/MBE/SBE certified contractor specializing in top quality construction, repair and maintenance of railroad tracks and related facilities, as well as construction and maintenance of railroad right-of-way and rail transit infrastructure.
Amidst a career spanning over three decades, Clark has earned a repuation as an unflinching trailblazer and a staunch advocate for minority and disadvantaged businesses. He holds an undergraduate degree in accounting from Penn State University, a Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law and a Masters in Management from Northwestern University’s Kellor Graduate School of Management.
Melvin Clark Exhibits the Will to Win – Making the Cover of “American DBE” Magazine
A British novelist said, “If you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success; if you don’t, you have achieved half your failure.” Throughout his academic, professional and entrepreneurial journey, Melvin E. Clark, Chief Executive Officer of G.W. Peoples Contracting Co. has exhibited the will to win.
“I am chairman, CEO and owner of G.W. Peoples Contracting. We are the only African American-owned firm in the country that builds railroads,” Clark said. “This fact simply underscores the problems encountered and the progress that has yet to be made if we—minority and women-owned businesses—are to play a meaningful role in building and rehabilitating the transportation infrastructure in America. We have a corporate
—and I have a personal—commitment to ensure that our workforce reflects the communities and the ridership that the transit system serves.”
Three decades ago, Clark entered the railroad industry because he saw an opportunity – and had the undeterred will to win.
“As a program manager for Potomac Construction, I have worked closely with G.W. Peoples and WMATA on the track rehabiliation projects since February, 2011 and have received nothing but positive comments…”
- Ernest V. Hamilton
- Program Manager
- Potomac Construction Co. Inc.
CEO Clark’s recommendations to the 21st Century Council
We have identified an inequity in the application of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation goals on publically-funded transit projects. Large prime contractors, including railroad construction contractors, exhibit an entrenched reluctance to use non-traditional disciplines to fulfill DBE participation goals.
GWP CEO Addresses The Transportation Development Council And CBC Tunica Conference
My name is Melvin E. Clark, Jr., and currently I am Chairman, CEO and Owner of G. W. Peoples Contracting Co., Inc. We are the only African-American owned firm in the country that builds railroads. This fact simply underscores the problems encountered and the progress…
G. W. Peoples Contracting Co., Inc., is a national minority-owned company, certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), that specializes in heavy and light railroad and transit construction related activities, including track installation, rehabilitation, maintenance, repair and removal, as well as contract rail welding. Our firm’s technical expertise extends across the entire scope of the rail transport industry, from light rail transit to commuter rail to heavy haul to high speed service. Our management team has over 300 years of combined experience in the railroad and construction fields, in addition to having strong backgrounds in business, law, project management, operations, government affairs, finance and administration.
G. W. Peoples has teamed successfully on large design/build projects across the nation, from New York to California, and from Illinois to Florida, and has the resources to undertake several ventures simultaneously.
G. W. Peoples’ customers include government and quasi-governmental agencies, as well as private industry shippers and freight carriers. We are aggressively pursuing yard, facilities and other heavy construction opportunities. However, the majority of our business is in the specialty area in which we excel: Construction and Rehabilitation of Railroads and Rapid Transit Lines. Importantly, we have a track record of bringing jobs in on-time and under budget!
G. W. Peoples’ headquarters is strategically located near downtown Washington, DC, where we can easily stay abreast of federal, state and local government transportation policies and plans, as well as monitor the changing regulatory environment. Regional offices locations include Carnegie, PA and Chicago, IL. These are particularly noteworthy given the current high-profile focus on national infrastructure revitalization necessary to improve safety, reduce dependence on foreign fuel and provide jobs.
G. W. Peoples looks to the future with a commitment to staying ahead of the curve on industry technology, continuing education, ongoing training, safety innovations, diversity recruitment, and government programming trends.
We hope that future holds the opportunity to work with you!