Arlington Again Increases Goals for MWBE Participation in City Contracts
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on March 03, 2021, March 03, 2021

MWBE Contracts

The City of Arlington continues striving to increase opportunities for minority, and women-owned business enterprises, known collectively as MWBE, to be awarded contracts for goods, services, construction, and professional services.

On March 2, 2021, the Arlington City Council voted to revise the Local and Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprise Policy and increase the aspirational goal for local and minority participation in all City contracts to be increased from 25% to 30%. The policy, adopted in 2013, originally set a 20 percent aspirational goal for all City procurement contracts to be awarded to MWBE businesses.

The increased aspirational goal is among recommendations from the most recent Availability and Disparity Study, presented to City Council in September 2020. The study analyzed the City’s historical utilization of MWBEs when competing for City contracts and associated subcontracts and also gathered qualitative data on the experiences of MWBEs in seeking work with the City and other governments and the private sector. The report found that qualified and capable firms encountered systemic and serious barriers on the basis of race and gender. Based on these findings, the study made recommendations to the City about possible strategies to increase opportunities for MWBEs and steps to create a formal MWBE Program.

The new aspirational goal shall be based on the total dollars spent annually on all citywide contracts and the availability of MWBEs to perform as primes and subcontractors. The City is also continuing its work to adopt a formal MWBE Program in an effort to improve participation and make progress toward greater equity.

“This is the first of many policy changes the City is making that will have a direct effect on the MWBE vendor community. This, along with contract-specific goals, which will come once a formal program is adopted, ensures the City is continuously making a conscientious effort to increase our spend with MWBEs interested in doing business with the City of Arlington,” Procurement Manager Will Velasco said.

Click here to learn more about bidding and procurement opportunities at the City of Arlington. You may also click here to see a list of Frequently Asked Questions about doing business with the City.

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