News Release - Mayor Announces MWBE Successes, Increased Standards for Contracts

City of Rochester News Release

(Thursday, June 3, 2021) – Building on the success of her previous efforts to direct more City spending on roads, buildings and other infrastructure toward Minority and Women Owned Enterprises (MWBEs) and people of color, Mayor Lovely A. Warren today announced that she will submit legislation to further increase the City’s construction workforce goals.

“It is our hope and purpose to achieve equity by providing more and better job opportunities for women and minorities,” said Mayor Warren. “Continuously raising our standards ensures that Black- Brown- and women-owned businesses have a fair chance at winning public projects and allows them to provide well-paying jobs and opportunities to create generational wealth for families.”

In 2018, Mayor Warren increased the City’s MWBE spending goals from 20 to 30 percent in the following areas: public works construction, public works consulting, professional services consulting and commodities. The City went from spending $6 million on minority and women businesses to $27 million in the first two years. That’s an increase of over 300 percent!

In addition, the City established workforce (who actually works on projects) goals in 2018. Right now, Rochester is exceeding its current requirement of 26 percent of minority and/or women workers for all public works projects. Last year, 42 percent of all workers on City projects were minorities and/or women - 23.6 percent female and 18.7 percent minority. Building on this achievement, Mayor Warren is proposing to raise the workforce standards from 20 to 30 percent for minorities and 6.9 percent to 10 percent for women. The City has proven that it can raise the bar and that contractors can meet the expectations set. The proposed increased also supports the RASE Commission report recommendations to expand workforce development goals.

The proposals would also help expand apprenticeship opportunities. The City plans to host a labor summit with local trade unions asking them to increase apprentice opportunities by 10 percent. In addition, Mayor Warren is proposing raising the bidding cap from $250,000 to $1 million, providing additional access for minority/women, small and mid-sized businesses to compete on City contracts. This opens up more avenues for MWBE spending because it provides more contracting opportunities to these companies, as well as opportunities for minority and women firms to hire a diverse workforce.

Mayor Warren plans to submit this legislation to City Council in July.