April 11, 2019
DDC: Shoshana Khan, 718-391-1251, KhanSho@ddc.nyc.gov
The NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) hosted a procurement fair today designed to help minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) gain contracting opportunities with the City and connect with general contractors seeking to partner with them to meet M/WBE contract requirements.
The fair featured hours of networking and a series of breakout sessions discussing issues such as how to do business with the City, how to market architecture and engineering professional services, upcoming projects that are in the pipeline for SCA and DDC and essential M/WBE legislation and policies.
“A couple of decades ago, many of us in government could not even dream about having a robust City-led convening with diverse minority businesses in construction, architecture and, other related areas,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson. “I’m glad to see that nowadays these events have become a must in the way we establish and cultivate relationships with businesses citywide. This fair is a reflection of the commitment of this administration to focus on ensuring that the minorities and women that make up 85 percent of New York have a fair shot at doing business with the City.”
“The level of engagement we see here today tells a compelling story that M/WBEs are prepared and willing to do great work with the City,” said Jonnel Doris, Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of M/WBEs. “This administration has worked tirelessly to build awareness of our program, we have made significant progress certifying over 7000 firms, and have awarded over $10 billion in contracts to M/WBEs since 2015. In all, our program is laying the groundwork for a more equitable ecosystem for businesses and emboldening diverse talent.”
“Events such as today’s are about networking and making the connections that can help businesses grow,” said Lorraine Grillo, who heads both agencies as President and CEO of SCA and Commissioner of DDC. “By promoting emerging businesses, we not only create diversity in the industry but we also improve capital project delivery by expanding the roster of businesses that can work for the City. We will continue to promote the Mayor’s M/WBE agenda.”
“DDC takes its commitment to M/WBE’s very seriously,” said DDC’s Chief Diversity & Industry Relations Officer Magalie Austin. “Central to our mission is our belief that DDC can serve as a major engine of economic opportunity to significantly enhance the prosperity and vitality of a wide array of communities in New York City.”
More than 700 businesses were represented at the fair, including general contractors, architecture and engineer firms, consultants who want to partner with M/WBEs to meet their contractual requirements and M/WBEs seeking opportunities to work with established firms. Almost 60 exhibitors were present including 20 City agencies and 36 firms that have large-scale contracts with SCA and DDC.
The many events, seminars, workshops and outreach sessions that SCA and DDC have performed over the last five years have led to major opportunities for the emerging businesses that took advantage of them.
“In 2007, I graduated from the SCA Mentor Program and started with $50,000 projects; today my company has nearly $100 million contracts,” said Ashnu International, Inc. President Nayan Parikh. “The M/WBE program offers great assistance in terms of teaching you how to do business, offering financing and guiding you along the way. I’ve attended many events like this before and I urge people to participate in every event possible. If you don’t network, your company won’t grow to its full potential.”
“This is the biggest M/WBE Procurement Fair I’ve seen so far,” said KSE Engineers, P.C. Vice President of Business Development Eileen Della Volle. “I appreciate that the SCA and DDC want to encourage collaboration for firms to work on City projects. KSE operates as a prime contractor for DDC and sub- contracts minority and women owned firms to reach the City’s M/WBE goals. We are thrilled to see familiar faces and meet new firms that we can work with in the near future.”
“We started as a mom and pop plumbing business and the M/WBE program has taken us to a whole different arena,” said Will-Do Plumbing Assistant Office Manager Christle Lawrence. “Will-Do Plumbing has seen so much growth with the program that we are now considered a general contractor that can subcontract to others, the opposite from before we became M/WBE certified.”
“I’m looking forward to networking with a lot of M/WBE contractors to enlarge the database of companies that we can work with on future projects, as we sub-contract M/WBEs on all of our projects,” said STV Construction Vice President Project Executive George Toma. “I’ll be attending the DDC Project Pipeline for Public Buildings breakout session to learn about upcoming projects, so we can gauge our interest and start writing proposals to bid on contracts.”
DDC’s M/WBE utilization rate in the City’s most recent fiscal year was 22.9%. Over the course of the past four years, DDC has hosted 24 and attended more than 150 procurement events, engaging almost 12,000 vendors, including 6,029 M/WBEs. The agency is the leading mayoral agency in the City’s M/WBE program, having made more than $1.8 billion in contract awards to M/WBEs since 2015.
The SCA obligated over $2.1 billion (24%) of prime contracts, over $1.2 billion (28%) in subcontract awards to M/WBE firms between fiscal years 2015 and 2018. Another $267 million of prime contracts were committed to the agency’s Mentor Program. SCA has attended more than 100 procurement events, engaging nearly 1,800 vendors and 850 M/WBEs.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $12 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.
About the NYC School Construction Authority
The School Construction Authority's (SCA) mission is to design and construct safe, attractive and environmentally sound public schools for children throughout the many communities of New York City. We are dedicated to building and modernizing schools in a responsible, cost-effective manner while achieving the highest standards of excellence in safety, quality and integrity. Established by the New York State Legislature in December 1988, the SCA has provided over 265,000 new school seats, not including Temporary Classroom Units (TCUs), to New York City students, opened the nation’s largest free Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) network providing almost 8,800 seats under the Mayor’s UPK initiative and protected, repaired and upgraded over 1,800 schools in over 1,400 school buildings with over 12,500 capital improvement projects.