The Community Relations Office and the Public Works Department are continuing efforts to increase the number of minority and female contractors and workforce diversity on City projects. The City departments partnered to host a Minority/Majority Contracting Luncheon on Thursday, August 29th. In attendance were Mayor Don Gerard, Councilman Will Kyles, City staff and minority/majority owned local contractors. The event was attended by over 50 people.
The luncheon began with City Manager Dorothy David and Mayor Don Gerard 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.
Jason Hood, Community Relations Specialist, spoke about the creation of a Minority and Women Business Development Program the City is currently exploring.
Minority and Women Business Development Program Proposed Program:
Component #1 (Construction Focus)
● Purchasing/Implementing Tracking Software
● Unbundling of Projects
● Waiver of Bonding
● Simplifying RFP and Bid Process
● Changes to EOPO
Component #2 (Community Resource Focus)
Construction Small Business Workforce Development
● Explore resources provided by:
○ Black Chamber of Commerce
○ Champaign County Illinois Economic Development Corporation
○ Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
○ Construction Trade Unions
● Reach out to local employers to discuss their needs
● Partner with Parkland College
Component #3 (New Initiative Focus)
● Small Business
○ “How To Do Business with the City” Training
○ Prime Contractor Incentive Program
○ Increase outreach to minority and women contractors
Component #4 (Small Business Finance Focus)
● Develop a small business loan program (gap loan)
Dennis Schmidt, Director of Public Works, spoke about minority contracting, sub-contracting and sub-consultants and dollars spent comparing FY12 and FY13.
FY13 Contracted Services:
● Contracted Services $19.9M
○ Other $17.5M
○ Minority/Women $2.4M
● Contracted Services $19.9M
○ Other Vendors $9.1M
○ Minority/Women Vendors $2.2M (24%)
○ Majority Vendors $10.8M
○ Minority/Women Subcontractors $0.2M (1.85%)
● Comparison FY12 and FY13
○ Total Contracted Services: FY12 $25.6M – FY13 $19.9M
○ Minority/Women Vendors: FY12 $1.7M (6.6%) – FY13 $2.4M (12.1%)
● Under $750,000 Year
○ Contracted Services: FY12 $13.1M – FY13 $9.1M
○ Minority/Women Vendors: FY12 $1.4M (10%) – FY13 $2.2M (24%)
● Over $750,000 Year
○ Contracted Services: FY12 $12.5M – FY13 $10.8M
○ Minority/Women Vendors (Subcontractors): FY12 $0.3M (2.4%) – FY13 $0.2M (1.85%)
Kevin Jackson, Director of Neighborhood Services spoke about the Bristol Park demolition.
● Expand Outreach to MBE/WBE
● Group Demolitions in Smaller Packages
● Develop a Contractor List
● Current Demolition Requirements
● Lot Maintenance After Demolition
● November 2013 Council Study Session for Demolition Policy
● January 2014 Council Adoption of Demolition Policy
● January – March 2014 Acquisitions Begin
● May 2014 First Group of Homes Out for Bid
● Demolitions Continue through 2016
It was suggested that information be sent to the faith-based organizations for distribution. The luncheon concluded with City staff reiterating the importance of increasing diversity on City projects.
There is an IDOT Support Technical Training scheduled for October 23, 2013, 5-7 pm at Parkland College.