City of Hinesville looks to promote business diversity and inclusion with expanded program

Local News

HINESVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) – The city of Hinesville is seeking to promote business diversity and inclusion.

Local Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Consultant DeLisa Clift is working with the city of Hinesville to diversify its workforce. The city council voted to expand its M/WBE program on Thursday.

“Basically what it does is it provides more opportunity for minorities and women to take part in city procurement activities as it relates to construction projects,” Clift said.

The program has been in place since 2012, but now the city is making changes. The goal is to further promote equal access and increase support to allow minority and women-owned businesses to be more competitive.

“We determined that there were some things that could be increased. There were some things that could be enhanced and there were some things we could bring senergy around,” she said.

The city’s standard participation goal for these groups in construction projects over $100,000 was 10 percent. That number increased to a minimum of 13 percent.

“In order to participate on the projects whether you’re participating as a sub contractor level, you have to be certified by a certifying agent,” Clift said. “Unfortunately a lot of the minority owned companies and women owned companies don’t go through that certification process.”

She said the city will now be able to certify a business to make them eligible to be labeled as an M/WBE when partaking in contracting activities with the city.

“If you’re not prepared for this project, be prepared for the next project that’s coming online,” Clift said.

The city hopes to provide public workshops to help businesses become certified by mid-July. More details about the program are expected to be released soon.

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