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Overcoming Obstacles - The CC Group

image Priscilla Contreras, Owner/President and Jonathan Contreras, The CC Group

EXTENDING THE REACH - Family atmospheres definitely have influences on one’s life, shaping individuals and directing career paths. For Priscilla Contreras, nothing could be closer to the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

    Contreras grew up in a construction home. Her father owned his own company and she saw first hand the pride he felt knowing he was part of creating something great and she felt it too. “I developed a passion for entrepreneurship at a young age. I attribute my fearless tenacity to my father and my passion from my mother.” It was these traits that steered her into construction.
    After working for a company that was certified by the SBA as an 8(a) Alaskan Native Corporation (ANC) and receiving millions of dollars in sole-source Government contracts, Contreras was motivated to do the same. In the fall of 2012, Contreras, at the age of 26, became the proud owner of The CCGroup LLC, a minority woman-owned small business subcontractor specializing in metal framing, gypsum assemblies, acoustical solutions, and paint.
    “I grew up seeing many things built from the ground up. As a child, it was inspiring to see people working together tirelessly to build something that would benefit our city. I enjoy it more now knowing my company’s name is behind it. Seeing everyone with their own skill set pushing to complete a project still fascinates me. Understanding there wasn’t many women in this industry challenged and intrigued me to get into construction. Recognizing that if I could acquire specific certifications, I too could benefit from the same advantages as my previous employer. Those certifications are what motivated me to open my company.”
    The CC Group LLC is certified with the South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (SCTRCA) and the State of Texas holding several certifications – WBE, HABE, MBE, SBE, ESBE as well as the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) certification.
    “Each one of my certifications have been a huge contributing factor to the success of my business. Local, State and Federal agencies seek to purchase goods and services with certified businesses in the area and, fortunately, these programs have increased my opportunities to contract with many local GCs.”
    Shortly after acquiring her certifications, Contreras contacted the Business Empowerment Program through the City of San Antonio. The program was created to support small, minority and woman-owned business by providing access to people and organizations that are ready to help. In 2014, Turner Construction interviewed Contreras and agreed to provide the guidance and tools necessary to improve and support The CCGroup’s small business needs.
    Participating in a two-year Mentor Protégé Program was extremely beneficial to growth of The CCGroup LLC. Throughout this two-year partnership, The CCGroup LLC further increased the knowledge, skills and capabilities necessary to build the capacity to successfully contribute to the strength and vigor of South Texas. “By taking advantage of this program, we were able to enhance our capabilities by receiving guidance on business planning and projections, business development, safety, cost estimating, marketing, human resources, and much more. They have individuals with 20–plus years of experience, so I took advantage. I strategically selected specific departments. I set up times to sit with each manager of those departments, asked many questions and explained to them my company’s growing pains. Everyone was so helpful and willingly provided solutions and concepts they were utilizing to lighten their workload. That was so beneficial to me.”
    With the efforts of the Mentor Protégé Program along with the acquired certifications, The CCGroup LLC got further opportunities. “There weren’t many women, minority-owned businesses, but I knew there were a lot of local and state projects that required those actual certifications. By utilizing these certifications, I was able to procure small projects in the beginning. Then eventually, the GCs saw our capabilities and started inviting us to bid larger projects. Later, by attending industry events at different associations, I began establishing more relationships.  Today, we can now be selective and work with many of the local highly respected GCs in San Antonio.”   
    For Contreras, the biggest challenge that she faced as a woman-owned business owner was proving that women could be a part of the construction industry. “Many, even within my close circle, told me I was crazy; and I get it. Certain cultures, as well as backgrounds find it hard to accept women in the construction industry, yet that fueled me. Now, with my husband recently joining the team and our large industrious workforce, I can say I’m not only crazy but crazy about this industry.”


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