As a result of ongoing community outreach and the feedback received, the SWSP team has identified a strong desire for inclusion of local minority-owned and small businesses in the contracting and implementation of the SWSP. In response to the community feedback, the West Harris County Regional Water Authority will be undertaking a four-step approach to encourage diversity in contracting and implementation of the Surface Water Supply Project:
- Utilizing a database of certified local minority companies that can be accessed by prime contractors for inclusion in their bid
- Holding meetings to facilitate Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification
- Creating a resource event where potential prime contractors on the Surface Water Supply Project can meet potential minority subcontractors
- Tracking Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation on the Surface Water Supply Project on an annual basis
In accordance with this approach, the WHCRWA partnered with the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity to conduct four Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Pre-Certification Workshops in neighborhoods near the SWSP alignment in March 2017. The workshops were held at:
- Melrose Community Center on Tuesday, March 21, 2017
- Tidwell Community Center on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
- Fry Road Municipal Utility District Administration Building on Wednesday, March 29, 2017
- Acres Homes Multi-Service Center on Thursday, March 30, 2017
In accordance with this approach, the WHCRWA partnered with the City of Houston (COH) Ofﬁce of Business Opportunity (OBO) to conduct four M/WSBE and DBE Pre-certiﬁcation Workshops in neighborhoods near the project alignment. Following the facilitation of the M/WSBE and DBE Pre-certiﬁcation Workshops, the SWSP team held a Contractor Outreach Workshops in June 2018 and January 2019.
The purpose of these workshops is to provide information to potential contractors about the upcoming construction phase of the SWSP, project segments, bid package information, and opportunities for potential prime contractors to network with potential subcontractors. For more information about how you can do business with the SWSP, visit the “Doing Business” page.
For those who are interested in becoming Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certified by the City of Houston, the Office of Business Opportunity holds Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Pre-Certification Workshops every Thursday at 2 p.m. in their offices located at 611 Walker Street, 7th Floor Houston, Texas 77002. More information about these workshops can be found by following this link. The City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity also hosts videos about the certification process on their homepage.
Contracting opportunities may include, but are not limited to:
- Welding services
- Electrical services
- Pipefitting services
- Construction flagging services
- Dust abatement services
- Carpentry services
- Surveying services
- Landscaping services
- Trucking services
- Traffic control services
- Stormwater protection services
- Security services
- And many others
The West Harris County Regional Water Authority encourages subcontractors interested in submitting bids to the SWSP’s future prime contractors to utilize or be pre-certified as Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contractors through the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity.