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INDIANAPOLIS — Two school districts in Indianapolis are taking similar approaches to seek out minority-owned businesses to work on certain capital improvement projects they each have in the works.

Lawrence and Washington Township schools have taken a different approach in wanting to bring more minority-owned businesses to the table. Lawrence Superintendent Shawn Smith tells Inside Indiana Businesses they actively sought out businesses they wanted to collaborate with.

“We networked. We talked with other companies and even in the private sector the minority companies that are out there and certainly invited them in to talk to them and meet them so we could better understand what they were able to do,” Smith said. “So we were very aggressive in our approach to go out and seek them out and then through the RFP process.”

But along with bringing more minority-owned businesses into the fold, the school districts are also setting up programs with prospective companies for students to learn about careers in architecture and construction.

As the projects are worked-on on school grounds, students would be able to intern with the companies working on the projects in an effort to help boost the workforce in those industries.