The Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board Takes Action to Ensure Minority and Women Owned Businesses are Given a Fair Chance
For years, many Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprises (“MWBE”) were overlooked or overshadowed by large majority-owned businesses even though they offered services that were needed for large projects. The Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board (“RJSCB”) is making sure these businesses get their fair chance at public projects.
The Rochester Schools Modernization Program (the “RSMP”) was created in 2007 by New York State Legislation in order to provide the City of Rochester and the Rochester City School District (“RCSD”) greater capability to meet the educational needs of its school children. By implementing a Strategic Plan, RSMP is laying the foundation for RCSD learning environments to enter the 21st century with facilities that are comparable to neighboring suburban districts.
The RSMP is a multi-phase capital initiative and the largest public works project in Rochester’s history. Currently, they are in Phase 2 which consists of 14 projects at 13 schools and totals $435 million dollars. The RJSCB implemented a Diversity Plan to take action to ensure that small, minority-owned, women owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises (EBEs) as well as minority and women members of the workforce are given the opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts awarded as part of RSMP. This opportunity for the participation in the free enterprise system by persons traditionally, socially and economically disadvantaged is essential to achieving social and economic equality and overcoming historical disparities. The Diversity Plan is an effective process that helps to increase the purchase of goods and services from diverse businesses and workforce members.
According to the Plan, all firms or other businesses providing goods or services under a contract meeting the dollar amount threshold ($100K+ for construction contracts) set forth in the Plan shall comply with the workforce diversity goals.
Each firm or other business providing goods or services shall use its best efforts to ensure that the workforce it engages to perform work for the Program meets the following participation goals:
- A Minority Workforce: 22% of project personnel hours including skilled trades people, trainees,journeymen, apprentices, and supervisory staff.
- Women Workforce: 8% of project personnel hours including skilled trades people, trainees, journeymen, apprentices, and supervisory staff.
The Plan designates the following business diversity Goals:
- Minority Business Enterprise: 17% of each Contract or purchase order
- Women-owned Business Enterprise: 10% of each Contract or purchase order
- Disadvantaged Business Enterprise: 3% of each Contract or purchase order
- Small Business Enterprise: 3% of each Contract or purchase order
These are the highest diversity goals in NY State and among the highest in the country. To date, the program is currently exceeding their workforce goals with 35.66% of minority workforce and 8.55% of women workforce working on RSMP contracts as construction trades people and professional service consultants. To learn more about RSMP and for more information about how the local community is participating on
this project, please visit www.rsmpnews.net.