BusinessCounty up to date on traditionally underutilized enterprise program

County up to date on traditionally underutilized enterprise program


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On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court docket fielded dialogue and informational updates in regard to the Traditionally Underutilized Companies program efficiency in 2021. The venture is aimed particularly at making the method of presidency contracting and procurement with native companies extra equitable.

In accordance with Texas Well being and Human Companies, this system is “dedicated to making sure that ladies, minority and service-disabled-veteran-owned companies get a good alternative to compete for all contracts straight and not directly via subcontracting.”

Sylvia Lopez, the HUB program director with the Travis County Buying Workplace, laid out the efficiency updates for commissioners.

The biggest portion of HUB program expenditures, $15 million, was spent on varied enterprise providers resembling plumbing providers, data know-how and extra. In the meantime, the county paid out virtually $9 million to traditionally underutilized development firms and about $3.5 million to traditionally underutilized professionals resembling architects, engineers and physicians.

Nonetheless, in keeping with the presentation from the county buying workplace, these figures represented solely a few quarter of the HUB program’s aspirational objectives. The objectives have been set following a 2016 disparity research; in keeping with Lopez, the HUB program is within the midst of a second disparity research to replace goalposts, which will likely be accessible in January.

{Of professional} providers spending, about 76 % went to woman-owned companies or contractors, whereas about 10 % went to Hispanic Individuals and about 7 % went to African American companies or contractors.

Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion addressed the purpose that at the beginning look, in some classes, demographic disparities would appear to persist.

“We take a look at a number of the ethnic numbers and we are saying, wow this might sound a bit low. However oftentimes, should you’re aspirational objectives, and you’re a woman-owned enterprise that occurs to be owned by an African American, the woman-owned enterprise quantity will likely be increased,” Travillion mentioned, earlier than suggesting disaggregating the numbers to see a extra particular breakdown.

Lopez additionally identified that in different classes, like commodities, funds to underserved demographics really seem increased. In commodities, African American teams obtained 32 % of the funds, whereas woman-owned teams obtained 31 % of funds.

County up to date on traditionally underutilized enterprise program

Commissioner Ann Howard instructed together with the aim data from the disparity research extra prominently in future presentation slides.

“I believe the knowledge we have been didn’t layer on what the objectives have been,” Howard mentioned. “I all the time wish to know if this system is attaining what we wished it to or if we have to work on a sure space.”

Travillion additionally expressed appreciation for the venture. “They’ve taken a program that was a voluntary program and turned it right into a program that has enamel from a compliance standpoint,” he mentioned. “That isn’t a very simple factor, significantly within the fifth Circuit of the nation, which we regularly consult with because the Accomplice Circuit.”

This yr marked the HUB program’s twenty seventh anniversary in Travis County, along with being essentially the most prolific yr for HUB utilization.

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