Minority and woman-owned business in Arlington may soon have more opportunities to participate in city projects.
The city gave the green light in December to a policy that encourages such historically underutilized businesses to bid on city projects. Under the new policy, the city requires that 20 percent of city-contracted work to be performed by companies that are minority or woman-owned, said program coordinator Reginald Cleveland.
“The new policy increases competition and gives the city more opportunities to work with firms who haven’t considered doing for the city of Arlington before,” he said.
As of last week, no such businesses had submitted bids yet. But part of Cleveland’s job will be reaching out to them to spread the word.
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In 2012 only about 5.4 percent of contracted work for the city was spent with minority and woman-owned businesses. That number rose to 9 percent in 2013.
City officials think that number can be increased by requiring 20 percent.
This isn’t Arlington’s first foray into enacting such a policy. A similar agreement was in place when AT&T Stadium was built.
“When we did a fair-share agreement with the stadium, that was what initiated us to establish a pattern for the city’s other goods and services,” said City Manager Trey Yelverton. “We still have a lot of work to do to implement the policy.”
Yelverton said city officials will be reaching out to local and MWBEs to encourage them to register for jobs.
The work opportunities include road work, goods and services providers, construction and engineering and other projects.
Cleveland said the policy was modeled closely on such policies from other Tarrant County cities. Fort Worth has similar policies in place for projects.