DPS hosted a meeting with community members April 5 to discuss the results of a disparity study by MGT of America, following up on MGT’s initial disparity work in 2014. The meeting also was an opportunity to highlight North High School, where the last major renovation project was completed in April 2016 for $1.8 million – and with 34% participation by minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs).
DPS is proud of the work we have done to increase the utilization of MWBEs in recent years, but we also know we have room to grow. So we asked for an independent review of the ongoing work, and MGT returned to provide an assessment. Their results, available by clicking links to the right, were shared with the community.
According to MGT Vice President Reggie Smith and Project Director Vernetta Mitchell, DPS has made strong progress in implementing its MWBE program. This includes:
- Establishing project goals for subcontractors; between 2014-16, DPS set MWBE goals for 126 projects.
- Adopting aspirational goals. The Denver Board of Education in 2015 adopted the goal of 24% MWBE participation in bond-funded construction projects, as recommended by MGT. In fact, DPS has attained a 34% overall MWBE mark.
- DPS purchased a business software program, B2GNow, to collect data on its MWBE subcontractor program.
- DPS hired staff to manage this program and monitor compliance, as well as hiring a new Business Diversity and Outreach Program Director, Murugan Palani.
In addition, MGT made a number of follow-up recommendations, such as establishing a program for small business owners. Palani shared that this project already is underway and DPS is making progress on, or has implemented, all of the MGT recommendations.
Part of the MGT review including interviewing many of our current and prospective business partners, and sharing their feedback. We appreciate your candor in these interviews and encourage you to keep working with us as we, together, help DPS achieve our MWBE potential!