On a sunny February morning Wayne Hamm, founder and owner of Electric Fixx Inc., was at DDC’s headquarters in Queens seeking to partner with general contractors to bid on DDC contracts. His company’s expertise includes installing wiring, lighting, solar paneling, fire and burglar alarm systems, generators and more.
“We do all aspects of electrical work,” said Hamm of his 20-person firm, located on Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn. “I want to pick up more projects, get more work. I’d like to meet with any and all of the people here and give them my card and tell them about my company, and hopefully they’ll call us next time they’re bidding on a contract. I get a lot more calls since the Mayor announced new goals to award 30% of City contracts to M/WBE contractors.”
Hamm’s company is an electrical contracting firm that’s been a certified Minority- or Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) since 2011. On this day he was one of 60 construction professionals to attend “General Construction PQL Matchmaking,” DDC’s first-ever matchmaking event designed to pair general contractors with M/WBE subcontractors.
“DDC is one of the City’s leading agencies in awards to M/WBE firms, and we have a large outreach and education program to help these firms do business with the City,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “Bringing companies together not only increases business opportunities for both firms but can also help expand the pool of contractors who have the capacity to bid on DDC projects.”
General contractors at the event were pre-qualified under the rules of the Procurement Policy Board Contractors can respond to a Request for Qualification (RFQ) and provide a range of information about their company, including financial statements, insurance documentation, hiring plan data and safety certifications. Companies that meet certain standards can then be placed on one of the agency’s Pre-qualification Lists (PQL) and become eligible to bid on these projects.
Firms on the DDC’s Small and Medium General Contractor Pre-qualified Lists that are not certified M/WBEs are required to subcontract out at least 50% of the value of any contract they receive through the PQL process to firms that are certified M/WBEs.
Firms on the Small General Contractor PQL are eligible for projects where construction cost is $500,000 up to $2,999,999. Firms on the Medium General Contractor PQL are eligible for projects where construction costs are $3 million up to $10 million.
Anthony Tsaloglou is the Senior Project Manager for Technico Construction Services, Inc., a general contractor in Long Island City.
“The push to work with minority- and women-owned companies is a huge part of New York’s construction industry right now,” said Tsaloglou. “The main reason we’re here today is to network with people who can help us meet those requirements. The move toward using more M/WBEs is a good one, but general contractors in particular need more subcontractors, more options. It’s not that easy to find companies to work with but events like this help. We need all construction services but our biggest volume need right now is for mechanical, electrical and plumbing.”
Wendy Mendez is a Project Manager for Rombouts Ave. LLC, a certified M/WBE firm located in Harrison, NY. She attended the matchmaking event to network with general contractors that might need her company’s excavation, shoring, rock removal, underpinning and concrete services, as well as other subcontractors from which her firm might be able to purchase supplies and equipment.
“I’m hoping to meet more general contractors or even other subcontractors we can team up with on future projects,” said Mendez. “I look forward to more events like this so that when people need an M/WBE they think of us first. I’ve gone to other construction industry events but never one like this, focusing on women-owned contractors like us.”
Under the leadership of DDC’s Chief Diversity and Industry Relations Officer Magalie Austin, who heads the DDC Office of Diversity & Industry Relations, DDC is a leading City agency for contract awards to M/WBE firms, helping New York City move closer to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of awarding 30% of the value of City contracts by 2021 to M/WBEs. From City Fiscal Year 2015 to Fiscal Year 2017, DDC awarded more than $1.57 billion in contracts to M/WBEs, and over half of all City contracts awarded to M/WBEs in Fiscal Year 2017 were through DDC.
The agency hosts and attends multiple events each year to connect with and educate M/WBEs, including two large open houses coming up at DDC in April and June 2018. In October, DDC hosted its 4th Annual Conference on Contract Opportunities. Since 2015, the Office of Diversity & Industry Relations has engaged almost 4,000 M/WBEs, either through direct outreach or at networking events. In that time, DDC has held more than 40 capacity building workshop sessions to help M/WBEs grow their businesses.
For more information about DDC’s programs for M/WBEs, how to become a DDC pre-qualified contractor, or about DDC’s construction management training and education programs, call the DDC Office of Diversity & Industry Relations at 718-391-2127 or email DDCODIR@ddc.nyc.gov.