I recently attended The NYC Comptroller’s MWBE Making the Grade focus group as part of their MWBE University. Scott Stringer and his time have been doing a fantastic job in fighting for MWBE contractors in NYC by grading city agencies in their MWBE utilization and other programs such as the Comptrollers MWBE University.

In this latest opportunity, many of in the MWBE space, including active contractors, participated in the focus group to share our insights and opinions in areas where support for MWBE’s is lacking. One of the primary topics for consideration that I suggested had to do with Wavers for prime contractors. New York State, through Governor Cuomo’s office, has a program where prime contractors on projects that have MWBE utilization requirements,  cannot bypass MWBE utilization without submitting a Waiver. These Wavers are very difficult to get approved as there are literally thousands of Certified MWBE’s in New York State and several offices that will help the contractor find certified MWBE’s in the area of expertise needed. New York City has no such program and many prime contractors are not obligated to hire MWBE subcontractors on their contracts. Some City agencies are more proactive in ensuring the use of MWBE’s in contracts, but not many and there is no real accountability toward prime contractors.

It is important to note that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office is pushing stiffer MWBE requirements for NYC contracts.

I want to thank Scott Stringer & Wendy Garcia for providing a forum for us with the M/WBE Making the Grade focus group at the NYC Comptroller’s Office. We look forward to the next meeting and hearing the results of our efforts. #NYCComptroller #MWBE #TheMWBEShow

If you would like more information about the NYC Comproller’s MWBE University and their efforts, please go to their website at: https://comptroller.nyc.gov/services/for-the-public/diversity-initiatives/mwbe-university/