​University of Minnesota Lowers WMDBE Thresholds from $500,000 to $50,000

2015 Business Development Matchmaker

Originally posted on the blog of Darryl Peal, Executive Director of the Office for Business & Community Economic Development; reposted with permission.

University of Minnesota is very proud to announce the realignment of thresholds for which it requires majority owned businesses to engage women, minority, and business owned by disabled persons (WMDBEs) for sub contractual opportunities on University of Minnesota purchases.  Prior to January 1, 2016 the thresholds for the engagement and utilization of WMDBEs for Goods and Services contracts was $500,000.  The new Threshold for the engagement of WMDBEs is $50,000 for all University of Minnesota Goods and Service purchases.  Under the new policy, the Targeted Business Program requires that a contractor, as a condition of bidding on any goods and service purchase where the aggregate project sum exceeds $50,000, present objective evidence demonstrating their commitment to achieve meaningful levels of participation of targeted businesses as subcontractors and suppliers.

The University of Minnesota Office for Business and Community Economic Development (BCED) is laser-focused on increasing the utilization of WMDBEs in the University’s supply chain.  In FY 2015 U of M’s total spend with WMDBE suppliers increased by $13 million dollars from $46 Million in FY 2014 to $59 Million in FY 2015.  In construction, the University experienced a 14% increase and spent $43 Million dollars with WMDBE firms, up from $28 million in FY 2014.

“Lowering these thresholds aligns our policies and our mission.  By reducing the threshold by $450,000, the number of opportunities for WMDBEs to do business University will increase dramatically.” said Darryl A. Peal, Executive Director of the University of Minnesota Office for Business and Community Economic Development.

University of Minnesota Supplier DiversityThe U of M Board of Regents (Board) supports the use of the purchasing power of the University of Minnesota (University) to enhance equal employment and business opportunities for minorities, women, and disabled persons. Consistent with the Board’s long-standing policies and achievements in advancing diversity, equal employment opportunity, and affirmative action, the University is committed to promote actively the utilization of businesses owned and operated by minorities, women, and disabled persons (targeted businesses), and to prevent discriminatory practices against such businesses.

Consistent with the University’s outreach and public service mission, it is appropriate that the University foster economic growth in the urban communities of which it is a part. Reduction of poverty and unemployment in the urban community is of vital interest to the University. The University shall take advantage of opportunities, presented by its construction projects and its contracts for goods and services, to promote the training and employment of urban community residents in skilled trades and professions.

The U of M thresholds and policies for construction will remain the same.  The U of M’s Targeted Business Program for construction projects requires that a contractor, as a condition of bidding on any construction contract where the aggregate project sum exceeds $100,000, present objective evidence demonstrating: (1) its past record and continuing commitment to achieve meaningful levels of participation of targeted businesses (WMDBEs) as subcontractors and suppliers; and (2) its commitment to achieve meaningful levels of employment of minorities, women and disabled persons.

The Urban Community Economic Development program requires, as a condition of any construction contract where the aggregate project sum exceeds $100,000, that the contractor: (a) employ meaningful numbers of residents of urban communities, such communities designated by the administration based upon levels of poverty and unemployment; and (b) collaborate with the University in the development, funding and implementation of programs designed to train residents of such urban communities and to increase the number of such urban residents who are skilled and union-certified in building trades to participate in construction projects at the University.

If you are a WMDB and are interested in doing business with the University of Minnesota register for MBid by going to http://purchasing.umn.edu/mbid/login.html, choosing the New Supplier Registration Link and following the directions provided.  You will be asked to provide certification as a WMDB by one of the following U of M recognized certifying organizations:

[Header image credit: Office for Business & Community Economic Development, 2015]

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