The Houston Independent School District is launching an Advisory Committee for Supplier Diversity to build on the ongoing success of its program for minority and women-owned business enterprises.
The new committee will begin meeting in December as the district moves forward with its 2012 bond program to repair, replace or build 40 schools. The goal of the committee is to provide input into how the district can improve M/WBE outreach efforts and accountability.
The district’s M/WBE program has already seen a record level of success with M/WBE participation in the 2007 bond program at 33 percent. As the 2012 bond program unfolds, HISD wants to build on that progress.
“In order to enhance the district’s M/WBE program, we are committed to making continual improvements to ensure equal opportunities for business growth and development,” said Alexis Licata, general manager for HISD’s Office of Business Assistance. “This newly formed committee will allow us to promote and obtain input from an alliance of community business partners, as they serve in an advisory capacity regarding our M/WBE program.”
The advisory committee will be comprised of local business leaders with the following mission:
- Increasing opportunities for M/WBE firms
- Reviewing HISD’s “good faith efforts” requirement for contractors to meet the M/WBE goals;
- Teaming of smaller M/WBE firms with larger M/WBE or non-M/WBE firms; and
- Reviewing bid-scoring criteria.
The volunteer committee members were nominated by the Asian Chamber of Commerce, the Citizens Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, the community-at-large, the National Association of Minority Contractors, the Women Contractors Association and the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance.
The committee’s charter prevents any members from doing business with the district while they are serving on the committee and for a period of one year after they step down.