MAYOR NUTTER CELEBRATES 35 YEARS OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, RELEASES OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ANNUAL REPORT

Fiscal Year 2014 report details 29.4% minority participation rate, Mayor Nutter increases goal from 25% to 30%

Philadelphia, March 20, 2015 –Mayor Michael A. Nutter highlighted the 35-year history of the City of Philadelphia expanding economic opportunity among minority, women, and disabled owned firms at the release of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Participation Report,which represents an in-depth analysis of for-profit contracts awarded by the City of Philadelphia to Minority, Women and Disabled-Owned Business Enterprises (M/W/DSBEs) and a review of the impact of the Economic Opportunity Plan (EOP) on public, private and non-profit construction projects.

In Fiscal Year 2014, the City and quasi-public agencies awarded M/W/DSBEs $266.5 million in contracts which represent 29.4% participation and an increase over the $243 million awarded for the previous fiscal year.  Mayor Nutter also announced the first increase of the minority participation goal in more than 30 years, increasing the goal from 25% to 30% of City contracts.

“Expanding economic opportunity and creating more business opportunities for minority, women, and disabled owned firms has been a priority for my Administration since day one and this report details our success in this area,” said Mayor Nutter.  “As a result of our successful track record, and my confidence in the Office of Economic Opportunity, we have now raised our goal to 30 percent as of Fiscal Year 2015 and we have outlined an aggressive plan to ensure that we achieve it.”

The release of the report was held at PRWT Services, Inc., one of the largest minority-owned firms in the United States.  The event highlighted a number of successful minority and women owned firms as well as the African American, Hispanic, and Asian Chambers of Commerce that support small businesses across Philadelphia.

Over the past seven years, the City of Philadelphia has awarded $1.59 billion to M/W/DSBEs contributing to the economic advancement of minority-owned small businesses across the region.  In addition, the OEO Registry of certified firms, a major indicator of businesses available to respond to contracting opportunities, has expanded to 2,272 businesses, a 72% increase since 2010 when the City launched its Inclusion Works Strategic Plan.

“The Office of Economic Opportunity provides M/W/DSBEs with access to information about opportunities as well as technical and financial resources.” said Angela Dowd-Burton, Executive Director for the Office of Economic Opportunity.  “Capacity building programs and outreach initiatives play a critical role in increasing M/W/DSBE participation.  OEO staff and City officials have participated in more than 200 meetings and programs in 2014 working to attract companies ready, willing and able to pursue City contracting opportunities.”

The Economic Opportunity Plan (EOP) Summary covers 642 construction projects around the City in various stages from planning and construction to completion.  In an effort to build capacity in the construction industry OEO partnered with Turner Construction to provide their Construction Management Program in 2014.  For the past three years OEO has demonstrated an on-going commitment to supporting contractors in anticipation of the construction industry boom currently underway.

The work of the Office of Economic Opportunity has been recognized by a number of national organizations including the Insight Center for Community Economic Opportunity, a national research, consulting and legal organization based in Oakland California, which recognized Philadelphia as a Best Practices City and the Public Technology Institute, which presented the 2013-14 Solutions Award for Significant Achievement in Mobilizing Data to Drive Supplier Diversity to the City of Philadelphia.

To read the Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Participation Report please visit www.phila.gov/commerce.  M/W/DSBEs interested in contracting with the City are encouraged to register with OEO atwww.phila.gov/oeo.   The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Agency are valued partners of OEO and responsible for certifying disadvantaged businesses.

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