5 Tips for Increasing Contractor Diversity

RATE YOUR CONTRACTORS

Consider creating “contractor report cards.” Chances are contractors bidding on a project have worked in your city before. Check to see how well they have done hiring residents, minorities, and women in the past and use this as a measure to project how well they will meet your goals/requirements. This strategy has been instrumental to the three Choice Neighborhoods projects’ diversity plans.

STEWARDS ARE YOUR FRIENDS
Build relationships with the union stewards. They are your eyes and ears on the project from the perspective of the workers.
DON’T BE LATE TO THE GAME!
Meet with unions and contractors well ahead of time to discuss hiring goals and opportunities to maximize community participation. DSNI hosted a building trades career fair well ahead of construction to allow prospective candidates the time needed to get into an apprenticeship.
USE THE BIDDING PROCESS
Typically workforce requirements are written on pre-bid papers. A bidder simply signs the last page and initials each page. Some cross out workforce numbers and add their own, for better or worse. Our workforce requirements were written in pre-bid papers, but farther down the page there were three blank lines where the bidder could write in their expected workforce. Our general contractor found this to be more effective in weeding contractors out who were “not real” about meeting the workforce requirements.
MEET FREQUENTLY
Choose a time and date that works for people. We met twice monthly during the beginning and end of the project and weekly during peak construction. Even during weeks you aren’t meeting, disseminate compliance reports, meeting notes, and other related articles.
[Read the full article: “Hitting Construction Hiring Goals,” by Travis Watson.]

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