NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Women-owned construction businesses in New York are voicing optimism about new city labor agreements aimed at increasing business for their companies and for those owned by minorities.
Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the agreements, which will cover $8 billion of construction contracts for city-owned buildings through 2018.
"On a business end it's tremendous, because this could take us to a whole new level," said April Malloy, a single mother of seven and owner of Construction 1st Class. A 100% woman-owned construction business like hers is a rarity in what's typically been a male-dominated industry.
"On a personal level it's even better. If we empower women, we empower America, and I truly believe that," Malloy added.
The agreements could trickle down to suppliers and manufacturers, too.
"Business is such that the same people seem to get the same projects over and over again, and this allows companies like mine to infiltrate that market," said Maya Phipps, co-founder of Phipps & Co., a New York City manufacturer and designer of interior finishes and millwork.
"It will definitely expand our market. Right now, we've predominantly worked on privately owned high-end hotels or residential, but we're not really getting the government jobs or low-income housing," Phipps said. "Now this allows us to hopefully get those same jobs."
Crain’s New York Business reported that contracts under the new agreements will be made through the standard bidding process and work must be done by union shops.