Minorities'/Women's Businesses Participating in HISD Bond Program at Record Levels
Participation of minority- and woman-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) in HISD’s bond construction program has hit an all-time high.
This follows an unprecedented effort over the last year to increase the number of MWBE’s that do business with the district. As a result, there are 17 percent more MWBE’s registered to do business with HISD today than there were a year ago and the number of minority-owned businesses receiving contracts is up 10 percent. At the same time, the number of woman-owned businesses winning HISD contracts is up 7 percent.
HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said, “Broadening our pool of business partners is not only more inclusive, it also increases the number of businesses competing to work for HISD, which helps ensure that we get the best value for our taxpayers.”
The HISD Board of Education previously set goals of 20 percent MWBE participation for construction and purchasing contracts and 25 percent for professional services. Both of those goals have been surpassed. MWBE representation in bond program commitments awarded through June is as follows:
Project Type MWBE Commitment
Architectural/Engineering Projects: 52%
Competitive Sealed Proposal Projects: 31%
Construction Manager at Risk Projects: 28%
“The diversity and expertise within the MWBE business community in Houston are strengths for our team and a critical reason for our success,” said HISD Chief Operating Officer Leo Bobadilla. “We could not deliver cost-effective projects that meet the needs of our students and staff without the hard work and commitment of all our business partners.”
HISD’s minority- and woman-owned business enterprises program started in 1988. With the hiring of Alexis Licata as general manager of business assistance in 2009 and Leo Bobadilla as Chief Operating Officer in 2010, HISD has redoubled its efforts to increase MWBE participation. HISD’s Business Assistance Supplier Diversity Department works with HISD department heads to increase MWBE participation in all district projects and contracts. The department also assists minority businesses with navigating HISD’s bidding processes and requirements, and has strengthened the process for auditing and reporting on participation. The department also hosts monthly “How to do business with HISD” workshops.
In addition, HISD was awarded the Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award by the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA), a first for the district.
The next MWBE workshop is scheduled for Monday, August 1, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th, 77092). For more information call (713) 556-7273.
The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 298 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 30,000 employees. For more information, visit the HISD Web site at www.houstonisd.org.