Christine Salto Recognized As 2019 Diversity Champion by Association of Minority Contractors

October 18, 2019

Christine Salto, assistant director of Compliance at Facilities and Operations, received the 2019 Diversity Champion Award from the New York Tri-State Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC-NY) during a ceremony held on October 18 at The Grand Hyatt New York. 

The award was created to honor people and organizations that have demonstrated innovative and creative strategies to remove barriers for under-represented groups; that support women, the disadvantaged and small businesses; and that allow for increased public and private construction contract opportunities.

Columbia University has a longstanding commitment to the minority-owned, woman-owned, and local (MWL) construction contracting and workforce community and has established a MWL construction trade contracting goal of 35 percent and MWL construction trade workforce goal of 40 percent. Salto ensures that these goals are closely tracked, achieved and reported on a quarterly basis and supports programs and services the University offers to MWL firms and individuals.

Cumulatively from the start of Columbia’s Manhattanville development in August 2008 through June 2019, Columbia paid more than $310 million to MWL firms for non-specialty construction work, representing 40 percent of non-specialty construction spend, excluding the amount paid to the construction manager. During the same time period, the MWL construction workforce delivered more than 1.8 million hours worked for non-specialty construction work, representing 49 percent of the non-specialty workforce hours for the construction of the new Manhattanville campus.

In addition, Salto played an integral role in launching a Pre-Apprenticeship program for minority, women and Upper Manhattan workers in conjunction with Pathways to Apprenticeship, the West Harlem Development Corporation and the NYC Department of Small Business Services. She also supports CU Grow, a program designed to help select MWL businesses that are current university vendors grow their business and expand their capacity through a coaching program.  In December 2020, the program will graduate its fourth cohort.