In our last blog, we shared some of the ways that federal legislation advocates for diverse construction companies by carving out space specifically for them! Surprisingly, however, the federal level isn’t the only level of government that is making a push for diverse business owners and tradespeople to enter the construction workforce. State and city legislation are doing their own legwork to make the mission of diversity in construction a success, as well. If you are a diverse business owner, an incentive program could prove to be a huge benefit for the well-being of your company, so this is a topic you won’t want to skip!
State Projects are Looking for Minority Contractors to Promote Diversity in Construction
State programs tend to work just like the federal ones but, of course, only apply to construction companies operating within that state. In some cases, this can be a huge advantage, especially if your state’s program is underutilized by business owners. You have a much smaller pool of competition for these contracts as a minority contractor. Alternatively, in some cases, if your program is well-advertised and sought after, it can make the competition a little tighter. Either way, it is always worth it to apply and get your company certified. There are countless free assets that come with these affiliations, and you set your company apart by carrying that certification.
These programs can vary from state to state, so it is highly recommended that you do ample research and figure out what your state, and sometimes even city, offers as an incentive for your community to break into construction. An excellent example of this kind of programming is Texas’s Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program. This program offers not only dedicated contract availability like the incentive mentioned above programs, but also organizes community events, provides networking opportunities and free education to registered companies, and actively works to increase the push for women and minority-owned businesses in construction. Many states build initiatives such as this one into their local legislation, so do your research and ensure you are taking advantage of the resources available to you!
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Diversity in Construction: Think Local
Many cities have policies, or even entire local departments, dedicated to supporting minority-owned businesses, especially in the construction field. Just as you should do your research regarding the legislation of the state you operate in, it is worth calling your local municipal court to see if your local community has any incentives or benefits for your company. From personal development opportunities to work set aside exclusively for your demographic, there are many benefits local legislation can offer you.
Take, for example, Houston’s Minority & Women Owned Business (MBE/MWBE) certification, which is supported by a dedicated team, the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council. This team empowers MBE-certified companies to seek the jobs they best qualify for and organizes ample educational and community-building events throughout the year. According to their site, the mission of HMSDC is “to actively involve its members in efforts that will increase and expand business opportunities and business growth for Minority Business Enterprises and to drive excellence in supplier diversity and supplier development.”
Another local asset you can take advantage to research diversity in construction of is local construction associations in your neighborhood and city. Associations, such as NAHB, ABC, ASA, and more can provide financial assistance to minority-owned small businesses, cultivate community, allow for job opportunities, and offer you exclusive certifications and accreditations, such as ABC’s STEP Program Certification, that can legitimize your business and offer your company a boost in reputation on top of providing new priority statuses on projects you may not have had priority on before. Plus, associations are one of the best ways to connect with local members of your construction community and begin to build a network within it. There are many reasons local resources are worth your investment, and this is only the beginning.
Incentive-Based Programs for Diversity in Construction
The construction industry is eager for fresh faces. These legislative incentive-based programs are built to make it easier for you to not only enter the construction workforce but also to succeed within it. If you are a part of a minority-owned construction company or are a woman, veteran, or other minority looking to join the construction community and step into a deeply fulfilling career in doing so, be sure you do the research on the front end. There are legal protection and support programs built specifically to welcome you into the community, so use them to your advantage! And if you have any questions, contact a local construction attorney. Skilled construction law professionals who are familiar with your state and city can likely help you find your community’s incentives and help you apply for them, too. Our team here at TCLF can even help you get your company HUB certified with our HUB flat fee package. Get started today!
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This article is intended as a general educational overview of the subject matter and is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of recent jurisprudence, nor a substitute for legal advice for a specific legal matter. If you have a legal issue, please consult an attorney.