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Construction & Design

Employers action plan to reach MWBE goals

The Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA) has announced the creation of the “Access to Construction Contracts Today” (ACCT) program to help support the growth of minority and women owned businesses (MWBE).

The program creates a 35-member MWBE Leadership Council in the BTEA that will oversee the creation of a uniformed pre-qualification form for all BTEA contractors.

It will also create a database of certified MWBE contractors that include each company’s volume of work and largest contract performed; hold networking events and educational programs for MWBE firms, and provide support through the creation of a PLA (Project Labor Agreement) hotline to provide MWBE firms free assistance and guidance in understanding terms and conditions of PLAs.

“Our new program will make accessing contracting opportunities better for both MWBE firms looking for work, and the prime contractors looking to engage them, by streamlining the pre-qualification forms, increasing the opportunities for interaction between them, and providing data about who can do what jobs,” said Louis J. Coletti, president and CEO of the Building Trades Employers’ Association.

“The Building Trades Employers’ Association will provide the kind of networking support needed to help these businesses grow and create new contract opportunities for MWBEs.”

The BTEA’s MWBE leadership council is led by co-chairs Stephanie Burns of Turner Construction, Christine Donaldson-Boccia of JD Traditional Industries, Linda Christenson-Sjogren of Lend Lease, and Paul Viera of IDL Communications and Electric Inc.

The council includes prime contractors and MWBE firms who will oversee each of these new initiatives. Charles Williams of Peckar & Abramson will serve as General Counsel to the new leadership group.

New York’s political leaders have set ambitious goals for the participation of minority and women owned business.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has set a 30 percent MWBE goal for state contracting. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration currently set its goal for the participation of MWBE companies at 37 percent of all contracts.

“The Governor and Mayor have laid out bold commitments to MWBE contracting and we want to make sure that the industry does everything it can in seeking to achieve those goals,” Coletti said.

The BTEA will hold its first technical assistance session with MWBE contractors in partnership with the New York City Department of Small Business Services on April 29, 2015.

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