BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In an effort to foster diversity in the creation of the new Highmark Stadium, a task force has been created, and their first official meeting is taking place Monday.

“We have the talent and experience in this county to figure out a system and a plan to ensure every Erie County business that wants to work on this project can work on it,” Erie County Legislature Chair April Baskin said.

The goal of the task force is to ensure that at least 30 percent of the companies working on the new home of the Bills are either woman or minority-owned and another six percent of the companies are disabled veteran-owned.

Here’s who’s on the New Stadium Community Inclusion Task Force:

  • Richard A. Cummings, who represents a minority-owned business. 
  • Larry Stitts, who represents the construction MWBE compliance industry.
  • Elizabeth Veale, a WBE owner
  • Rev. Mark Blue, the president of the NAACP
  • Tony Roman, who represents the Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Business industry
  • Sydney Brown, representing Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Stephen Tucker, who is an expert in local workforce recruitment
  • Frank Daniel, who is an expert in local MWBE subcontractor recruitment
  • Pat Freeman, an expert in sports stadium development
  • Richard C. Cummings, the past president of the Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Thomas Beauford, the CEO of the Buffalo Urban League

Expected to be wrapped up in 2026, the cost of the new stadium was estimated to be more than $1.5 billion, with Erie County ($250 million) and New York State ($600 million) sharing part of the bill.

An Associated Press report from this past August says “people told the AP on the condition of anonymity” that cost projections had actually been approaching $1.7 billion, but that the Bills would be covering overrun costs.

The New Stadium Community Inclusion Task Force is planning to meet Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library branch on East Delavan Avenue.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.