As part of Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal to make New York the most equitable city in the world, City government has pledged to award $20 billion in contracts to minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) by the year 2025. NYCHA is an important contributor to this effort: Since the goal was announced, it has awarded nearly $1.3 billion in contracts to M/WBEs.
To help M/WBEs and Section 3 Business Concerns (S3BC) learn about the numerous contracting opportunities at NYCHA, the Authority hosts a large outreach event every year. (Section 3 Business Concerns are businesses majority-owned by public housing or low-income residents or whose staff is composed of at least 30 percent public housing or low-income residents.) The annual M/WBE and S3BC Procurement Fair also serves to increase the diversity of NYCHA’s supplier base.
For the first time ever, this year’s Procurement Fair was held at a NYCHA location – the Johnson Cornerstone Center at Johnson Houses in Manhattan – to highlight the good work that NYCHA does every day.
A total of 42 exhibitors were on hand to discuss contracting opportunities at the November 15 event: 31 City and State agencies and organizations, six NYCHA tables (representing Supply Management, Capital Projects and its Office of Recovery and Resilience, Operations, Information Technology, and Real Estate), and five of NYCHA’s prime vendors.
Ester Tomicic-Hines, Senior Deputy Director in the Office of the VP for Supply Management, was instrumental in organizing the event. She welcomed the M/WBEs and S3BCs in attendance with a rousing message: “We’re here to help you make more money while you make our city a better place to live. Everybody is in the house today for you to connect with – the people who buy your goods and services – so that you can achieve your business goals while we achieve our goal of providing safe, clean, and connected communities for residents.”
In addition to networking, attendees learned how they can partner with the Authority and increase their business opportunities at workshops that covered capital projects in the pipeline (including roof replacements and major construction), maintenance paint contracts, and how to register as an S3BC.
“This event provided a great opportunity for more than 200 business owners to network with numerous NYCHA departments and attend workshops designed to connect them to real and substantial procurement opportunities,” said Kerri Jew, NYCHA Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. “With the help of the businesses that attended this event, we hope to continue to improve upon our success in awarding contracts to City-certified M/WBEs and NYCHA-registered S3BCs.”
One attendee, Donna Hager, PE, President & CEO of Macan Deve Engineers, DPC, said: “NYCHA’s Procurement Fair helped me as the owner of a small S3BC by providing the perfect setting to network, learn about upcoming procurement opportunities, and find out more about all the incredible resources available to minority- and women-owned businesses in NYC. NYCHA inspires me to continue to grow as a small business and compete for additional NYCHA projects. The REES program is truly rewarding and allows me to directly employ, mentor, and encourage Section 3 residents to pursue careers in engineering and construction.”
It was truly a win-win for all involved. “We’re promoting local businesses and economic opportunities – and lifting up communities – by engaging local M/WBEs and S3BCs to work with us as we repair and rebuild NYCHA for the current and future generations of New Yorkers,” remarked Senior Deputy Director Tomicic-Hines.