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September 13, 2016

New York City Department of Design and Construction Hosts Third Annual Conference on Contract Opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

Business representatives at tables talk to attendees at the 2016 Contractor’s Open House
Over 400 industry professionals attended the DDC’s Third Annual Conference on Contract Opportunities for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises

Shavone Williams
Public Information Officer

Dan Leibel
Junior Public Information Officer

New York, NY–The New York City Department of Design and Construction continued its effort today to increase business opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE’s) as it hosted its third annual conference on contract opportunities for MWBE architecture, engineering, and construction firms.

The conferences are designed to help MWBEs better understand the City’s capital construction procurement process, to provide MWBEs with a preview of upcoming DDC infrastructure and public buildings projects they may be interested in working on, and provide the opportunity to network with 70 government entities and private organizations who are interested in working with them. Over 400 professionals attended the conference at DDC headquarters at 30-30 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City, Queens.

“DDC is committed to partnering with MWBEs in public construction and we are proud to assist them in navigating the City’s contracting process,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “DDC awarded over $242 million in contracts to MWBEs during Fiscal Year 2015, and we anticipate that figure will rise once Fiscal Year 2016 is calculated. Firms should take full advan¬tage of this opportunity to learn how to work with us, and how to earn City contracting opportunities.”

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and supporting them is key to our economic stability,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee. “With a budget of over $82 billion, it is important for our local MWBEs to get a piece of the pie and take advantage of the opportunity to contract with the City. I look forward to continuing our work with DDC to ensure more MWBEs learn about the City’s contracting process and to growing the number of contracts they are awarded.“

Small business owners met with representatives from DDC, construction contractors, architectural and engineering firms, construction management firms and other New York City government agencies. Jonnel Doris, Senior Advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio for MWBE, and Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Chairwoman for City Council’s Committee on Finance, were keynote speakers for the event.

“The MWBE community is a key strategic partner with the Department of Design and Construction and the City in ensuring we uphold the Mayor’s commitment to equity and opportunity,” said DDC’s Chief Diversity and Industry Relations Officer, Maggie Austin. The goal of this conference is to provide the opportunity for MWBE’s to engage with government organizations and private firms who are committed to working with them.”

Deborah Bradley, Owner of Deborah Bradley Construction & Management Services, Inc. (DBC) of Harlem, said, “We’re a general contracting firm and have been around for 22 years. DDC is on my target list because the agency has a big construction budget and is making a major effort to attract more MWBEs. My firm is a perfect fit, with a history of working successfully with government agencies. DDC attracts a bigger and bigger audience here every year, and I know a lot of these people and I’m able to reconnect with them while learning about business opportunities.”

J. Evans Doleyres, President and CEO of JED Engineering, P.C. in Valley Stream, said, “I was glad to participate because the networking chances are tremendous and I can learn about upcoming projects at DDC. These events have been quite helpful in the past so I always come back as much as I can. The breakout session on future infrastructure projects was very helpful. It’s important to be aware of what’s coming up on the horizon so you can position yourself for upcoming projects.”

In Fiscal Year 2015, New York City awarded a total of $1.6 billion in contracts to MWBEs, $396 million of which was in prime contracts and $75.2 million in subcontract awards. New York City has a goal to award over $16 billion to MWBEs over the next ten years; DDC will continue to play a significant role in helping the city meet that goal by ensuring procurement opportunities exist for MWBEs.

DDC’s Office of Diversity and Industry Relations offers a range of programs to expand MWBE participation including monthly business development workshops, open houses and a construction mentorship program. These programs introduce MWBEs to the agency’s processes and ensure participants are aware of all available procurement opportunities. Next year, DDC will continue to heighten the development of innovative best practices that foster diversity and advance procurement opportunities for MWBEs. For more information about the Office of Diversity and Industry Relations offerings for MWBEs, visit

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit