In June 2012, Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh announced the creation of the NYC Construction Mentorship Panel. The Panel consists of 25 members, including private developers and contractors, Minority and Women-Owned Business enterprises (MWBEs), advocates and government officials. the Panel helps support the City’s MWBe program and raise awareness of available services and opportunities for MWBEs in the construction industry.
The group has been a strong partner and advisor for the City on strategies to help grow the MWBe firm presence in the construction industry. Since its creation, the Panel assists MWBEs through several of the City’s innovative initiatives.
BUILDING CAPACITY FOR MWBES
The groundbreaking Advisory Panel played a large role in the development of Compete to Win – the City’s suite of capacity-building programs for MWBEs. Initiatives under Compete to Win facilitate teaming opportunities, provide technical assistance and assist construction firms by helping business owners find mentors and secure loans and surety bonds.
Launched in 2012, Compete to Win is one of the centerpieces of the Bloomberg Administration’s effort to continue moving the City’s economy forward. According to Michael J. Garner, the MTA’s Chief Diversity Officer and a Supporting resource on the Panel, “the Mayor’s Construction Advisory Panel and its membership are committed to expanding opportunities for MWBEs. the MTA and its Small Business Development Program are proud to support this initiative by providing capacity-building services and education to MWBE construction contractors who successfully complete the Compete to Win program and meet our program’s criteria.”
PUSHING THE LEGISLATIVE ENVELOPE
The City sought advice from Advisory Panel members during the development of Local Law 1 of 2013 to further expand and strengthen the City’s MWBE program. Among its many beneficial provisions, Local Law 1 removes the program’s $1 million cap on contracts, thereby increasing the overall value of program-eligible contracts from $400 million to $2.2 billion and allowing MWBEs to compete more effectively for higher-valued contracts. the new legislation also increases accountability for City agencies to meet their contracting participation goals and includes heightened oversight and reporting provisions.
“Local Law 1 has lots of support. Cas Holloway and Greg Mayers have been instrumental in making sure that the Construction Panel works. We meet around issues that affect MWBEs getting contracts with City agencies – such as Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) – which deal with various unions, how the projects are to be staffed and bonding and certification issues,” said Walter Edwards, Chairman of the Harlem Business Alliance and member of the Advisory Panel.
“the Advisory Panel is instrumental as a citywide, involved group of people who are on the forefront of advocacy and implementation of MWBE initiatives. Best practices start from the top, and this administration’s leadership in Cas Holloway and Greg Mayers has been involved since the very beginning,” said reverend Jacques DeGraff, Vice President of 100 Black Men and member of the Advisory Panel.