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Profile: Jimmie Miller, President of EAD Construction and Subcontractor on Preservation Square

March 8, 2021 | McCormack Baron Salazar

Jimmie Miller, president of EAD construction has been working on projects like the Preservation Square redevelopment his whole career. However, his experience with public housing projects in the area around Preservation Square goes back even further. Jimmie was born and raised in Cochran Place projects, a mile east of Preservation Square. Growing up in public housing as part of a family of nine, was tough. He remembers how the built environment shaped his psyche, how the tight quarters seemed to also limit his world view. How his family had to fight to make a living and carve out opportunity.

That’s why working on the Preservation Square redevelopment is important for Jimmie. “My hope for the Preservation Square project is it gives people in this community, which are predominantly people of color, the opportunity to live better lives. That they have the space and environment to thrive.”

The first phase of the Preservation Square project will construct 45 new units and rehab 86 existing units. Of those, 37 units will be market rate, with the idea that residents who improve their income and lose eligibility for federal housing assistance or rent restrictions can stay in the neighborhood.

Jimmie is leading the onsite efforts for EAD construction, a minority and women owned business. As laborers, EAD’s role in the first phase is demolition and preparing the existing structures for redevelopment. Jimmie understands the importance of having his crew on this project.

“For this revitalization, it's critical to have the community involved. It’s important to ensure the people who live here to have the opportunity to build the community they live in,” said Miller. So far, EAD has hired six employees who qualify as Section 3. Section 3 is a HUD designation for employees ensuring job opportunities go to people who are public housing residents or are low-income persons who live near the development.

Jimmie’s career in construction began back at Sumner high school when he took classes in the trades. When he was a senior he began working for his father’s company, which started in maintenance but soon transitioned into construction. Jimmy learned the business as a laborer working on projects like Edward Jones Dome. It wasn’t long before Jimmie was ready to start his own construction business, and serve in leadership positions like his role with EAD.

As president, Jimmie leads the crew on the Preservation Square job site and handles bidding and project planning. He takes pride in grooming members of his crew for future success. “For me this job is about education, teaching, and mentoring. I make sure that the youth are empowered and educated on these projects. I want to see them grow. We need more people in the trades, especially more people of color. I want to be a part of ensuring we have more diversity in construction and management of projects like Preservation.”

Photograph of Mr. Miller in a hard hat and yellow vest in front of the Preservation Square construction site.