The Community Relations Office and the Public Works Department are continuing efforts to increase the number of female and minority contractors and workforce diversity on City projects. The City departments partnered to host a Minority Contracting Luncheon on Tuesday, August 14th. In attendance were Mayor Don Gerard, Councilman Will Kyles, City staff and local contractors.
The luncheon began with Mayor Gerard and Ms. David, Assistant City Manager, welcoming the contractors and explaining the purpose of the luncheon. This is a high priority for the City as it reflects Council Goals, equal opportunity, and builds relationships.
Teri Legner, Economic Development Manager, discussed the UC2B program relating to contract documents, bidding process and bid results. Dennis Schmidt, Public Works Director, spoke about the City Council Goal and the upcoming Study Session to get Council input on short term and long term actions to increase minority participation and workforce diversity on City projects. Since last year the City’s goal for consultant selection was set for 10% with respect to women/minorities, larger projects have been broken into smaller projects to allow for smaller business participation and, incentive payments have been put in place for early or on-time completion.
Joan Walls, Deputy City Manager for Community Relations and Roland White, City Engineer, led a discussion on concerns and responses on the City’s efforts. One issue raised was the bonding requirement on City projects is often too high for small contractors to handle. There is also concern that women/minorities be sustained through the entire job.
The luncheon concluded with City staff reiterating the importance of increasing diversity on City projects. All participants agreed to continue to network on the matter.