Special to The Dallas Examiner
The oldest African American family owned and operated civil engineering and consulting firm in North Texas will celebrate its 40th year of operations this month. Dikita Enterprises, led by Eve Williams, president and chief executive officer and daughter of founder and chairman Lucious L. Williams, who took over the leadership of the company from her father in 2010, said she sees a bright future after four decades in business.
“We have discovered our niche and it is driven by paying close attention to our clients and their needs,” she said. “We know we must exceed the expectations and provide services our clients may have overlooked.”
The company provides a variety of services in the aviation, education, hospitals, highways, transit and transit market research industries including planning, data analysis and reporting, and program management. The first major client for the firm was the Frank Crowley Court Building on River Front Blvd. for Dallas County in 1986. The firm provided civil, electrical, and structural engineering design.
Dikita, which has two offices in Dallas and Fort Worth, has recorded several firsts in the engineering field. It was the first African American company to become a program manager for Dallas ISD and its bond program of 2015 whereby the firm is one of three responsible for managing the $1.6 billion worth of capital improvement including construction of nine new and replacement schools; expansion of facilities and 326 classrooms; land acquisition and educational program, accoring to representatives.
“They have been excellent,” said Lew Blackburn, former Dallas ISD board president and trustee. “The projects have been on time and budget.”
Dallas County Community College District is the latest recipient of the ‘Industry Partner of the Year’ award presented by the Regional Black Contractors Association, Nov. 1. The distinction highlighted a partnership focused on construction education that has prepared formerly incarcerated men and women for re-entry into the workforce.
“The economic and workforce impact to the community and employers provides an opportunity of pride, self-respect and dignity for each of these students,” said Joyce Williams, DCCCD’s associate vice chancellor of workforce and community. “The possibilities are endless as they transition into the workforce with construction certifications and employability skills earning them $15-18 hourly.”
Since June, approximately 100 students have received construction training and industry certifications. These certificates are made possible through a partnership between Cedar Valley College’s Career and Technical Education program and Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas.
“I believe this is a game-changer at the lowest level, because we have the ability to change the lives of these men and women today and not in the distant future,” said Dr. Ruben Johnson, executive dean of business, workforce and skilled trades division at Cedar Valley.
After completing the program, students are typically employed through a partnership with RBCA, which works to include African American businesses in the construction industry.
Congressman Colin Allred, TX-32, announced co-sponsorship of the Insulin Price Reduction Act, a bipartisan bill that would reduce the price of insulin for millions of people, Nov. 5.
“It’s unacceptable that in our country, one in four people are rationing their insulin because of high cost,” he said. “This bill would lower the cost of insulin by as much as 75 percent and help North Texans who are struggling to pay these high costs for the medicine they need to live. I’m glad to join the bipartisan effort and fight to get this bill passed into law. The time for action is now to lower the costs of insulin and prescription drugs.”
The bill is sponsored by Congresswoman Diane Degette, D-CO-01, and Congressman Tom Reed, R-NY-23. A similar version of the bill was introduced recently in the Senate by U.S. senators Tom Carper and Jeanne Shaheen.
Allred said he is fighting to pass the Lower Drug Costs Now Act and has made protecting the Affordable Care Act and lowering the cost of health care a priority in this congress.
The Insulin Price Reduction Act would:
- Reduce the list price of most insulin products by more than 75 percent.
The bill creates an incentive for drug makers to set the list price of their insulin products at, or below, the list price they were set at in 2006.
A move that would lower the list prices for some of the most popular insulin products by more than 75 percent.
- Require Medicare and all private insurers to cover insulin with no deductible.
The bill requires Medicare and all private insurers to waive the deductible requirements for any insulin product that’s been reduced to its 2006 price.
- Protect drug makers who reduce their prices from the pressure of having to offer any additional rebates.
The bill would prohibit any drug maker that sets the price of their insulin products at, or below, its 2006 list price from offering any additional rebates to further lower the cost of that product for insurers.
Lowering the list price of insulin benefits consumers. It also allows drug makers who reduce their insulin products to their 2006 prices to sell their products without having to offer additional rebates, giving them an incentive to do so.
- Prohibit insurers from refusing to cover any insulin product that’s been priced at, or below, its 2006 list price.
Under the current system, insurers may refuse to cover a drug that doesn’t come with a significant rebate to reduce the cost for them.
This power to deny coverage of a company’s product has led many drug makers to increase the list price of their products in order to offer a larger rebate to insurers