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Source : Contractor News
December 22, 2020
Author : Kristy Casanova
The Port of Houston, Texas is working to increase the number of women- and minority-owned businesses they contract with.
After conducting an independent disparity study, law firm Griffin & Strong PC found that women- and minority owned businesses are extremely underrepresented, with less than 0.1 percent construction dollars from the port going to Black-owned businesses when they represent around 15 percent of the market.
Port Commision Chairman Ric Campo stated that they indeed have a lot of work to do moving forward in order to increase the utilization of women- and minority-owned businesses. They aim to rectify the problem by increasing outreach efforts, unbundling contracts, setting MBE and WBE subcontracting goals, among other measures.
Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis expressed his concern for the underutilized businesses, arguing that the results of the disparity are proof of the ongoing economic inequality in the region. The county is looking to work closely with Port leadership to lower the disparity.