Weekly Feature

2015-02-26 / Local News

Stadium renovations aided by minority, women-owned businesses

Minority- and women-owned business enterprises exceeded goals through Nov. 30 for participation in the Ralph Wilson Stadium Improvement Project.

The Erie County Division of Equal Employment Opportunity announced that the goals had been exceeded.

Both business utilization and workforce utilization goals were exceeded, along with apprentice goals, demonstrating greater participation by MWBE businesses in applying for available contracts and greater numbers of women and minorities working on the project site.

“To not only meet, but to exceed, MWBE goals for the Ralph Wilson Stadium project is great news for Erie County and its workforce,” said County Executive Mark Poloncarz, adding that having more minority- and women owned businesses taking part in major projects signifies that the process for obtaining the contracts is more open and inclusive.

“Leveling the playing field for all vendors increases fairness and brings greater diversity to the project’s workforce, and from these results we can see that [the MWBEs] took to this work with gusto,” he said. “In addition, more apprentices than expected were learning their trades on the site, which means that a larger segment of the next generation of skilled workers gained valuable experience through work on this project.”

MWBE business utilization goals called for 23 percent of the project being completed by MWBEs, with 13 percent of that total envisioned for minority-owned businesses and 10 percent by women-owned businesses.

Erie County EEO Director Jesse Burnette reports that 18 percent of the project was completed by women-owned businesses, along with 16 percent by minority-owned businesses, for a total participation of 34 percent and a total contract dollar amount equaling a little over $34 million.

The project’s MWBE workforce utilization goals, which dictate the number of minority and women workers performing the actual work at any given time, were also exceeded.

Minority workforce utilization goals were set at 13.2 percent but were reported at 16 percent, with more than 94,458 hours worked.

Women-owned business workforce utilization goals were set at 6.9 percent but were reported at 8 percent, with 47,347 total hours of work reported.

Apprentice goals, set at 10 percent, were reported at 14 percent, with hours worked totaling 80,648.

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