City plans to expand minority contractor goals

City plans to expand minority contractor goals
February 15
09:02 2018

The City of Winston-Salem is planning to expand its Minority/Woman Business Enterprise (M/WBE) requirements to even more projects.

The city’s efforts to ensure minority inclusion in its contracts already goes above the state minimum of just requiring 10 percent M/WBE subcontractor participation in its construction projects and meeting 50 points of good faith efforts if a contractor can’t reach that goal. The city can set higher participation goals that vary between projects, and has a more extensive 115 points of good faith efforts that bidders must meet if they fall short.

The city also has a M/WBE program with two staff members that helps set participation goals, does sub-contractor outreach, monitors subcontractor use, helps city departments find M/WBE businesses and helps contractors find M/WBE subcontractors.

M/WBE staff recommended several changes to expand the city’s inclusion efforts, which the City Council plans to vote on next month.

These include:

*Requiring M/WBE goals on all construction and repair projects that cost $100,000 or more. Currently those goals are only required on projects that cost $300,000 or more.

*Require 10 percent M/WBE participation for submittals for a wide range of professional and other services, which includes janitorial services, engineering and marketing. The M/WBE goal will count for 20 percent of how a bid is evaluated. The use of M/WBE firms will be tracked by M/WBE staff.

*If a bidder fails to make M/WBE goals and doesn’t meet good faith standards, they’ll have points deducted from every subsequent proposal for the next three to six months.

During the General Governance Committee, City Council members praised the proposed changes. Committee Chair and City Council Member Derwin Montgomery said he thought it was a good step toward greater inclusion for the city.

“I’m excited to see the impact of these changes on those we do contract with … how that impacts the community in terms of those who are employed with these firms and those who do this work,” said Montgomery, who is also one of the owners of The Chronicle.

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