Strategies for Inclusive Contracting and Workforce

Information about strategies that support achievement of inclusive contracting and workforce.
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To support the goal of access to opportunity, PCEF prioritizes funding to organizations that implement best practices in utilization of diverse contractors including professional, supplier (goods and services) and construction contractors.

Inclusive contracting

Practices that have been identified as helpful for increasing utilization of historically underrepresented and disadvantaged contractors are listed below. This is not an exhaustive list, and the examples may or may not be relevant to your project. Ideas you may want to consider include:

  • Work with relevant business technical assistance providers to ensure qualified potential bidders are aware of bid opportunities and are supported in the bidding and estimating process. This includes Latino Built, NAMC-OR (National Association of Minority Contractors-Oregon), OAME (Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs), ONAC (Oregon Native American Chamber), PBDG (Professional Business Development Group), among others.
  • Work with relevant partner organizations (e.g., trade organizations, community-based partners) to get the word out (e.g., events, social media).
  • Place notifications of bid opportunities in culturally or geographically targeted media.
  • Provide a minimum of 15 business days to respond to bidding deadlines for construction contracts and 30 days for professional service contracts.
  • Where appropriate, secure a minimum of two written bids from firms that specialize in the type of work that will be subcontracted and are majority owned and operated by women, minority, veteran, or disabled contractors.
  • Segment work in order to allow smaller qualified firms to successfully bid (i.e., identify opportunities to break larger contracts into a series of smaller contracts).
  • Identify prime contractors that are able and willing to play a mentoring role to M/W/DBEs.
  • Utilize best value contracting rather than lowest bid contracting. PCEF funding does not require lowest cost bidding.
  • Ensure price efficiency and foster competitiveness of small firms by negotiating the purchase of supplies and materials and requiring suppliers to make available to all bidders those materials and supplies at the same cost.
  • Ensure that contracts and subcontracts are not flowing to pass-through firms.

Inclusive workforce recruitment, retention, and advancement

Ensuring community access to employment opportunity is a PCEF priority – with particular attention given to traditionally underrepresented populations including women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the chronically underemployed. In addition, we recognize and value the role of apprentice and pre-apprentice programs in the development of a diverse workforce.

Practices that have been identified as useful to recruitment, retention, and advancement of historically underrepresented and disadvantaged populations are listed below. This is not an exhaustive list, and the examples may or may not be relevant to your project. Ideas you may want to consider include:

  • Advertise positions through media channels that are relevant to the target populations.
  • Conduct outreach and recruitment events in partnership with community-based organizations and individuals that are influencers with the target populations.
  • Allow for possible lack of previous experience, provide on-the-job training, and provide employees and apprentices with a fair chance to perform successfully.
  • Provide timely and meaningful feedback to support success.
  • Match employees and apprentices who may need support with a late-term or journey-level mentor.
  • Promote an inclusive and welcoming environment. Examples include:
    • Inform workers about support systems
    • Ensure that several minorities and women are employed at a site
    • Provide adequate toilet facilities for women and transgender workers
    • Foster a culture that is inclusive of diversity of race, ethnicity, color, sex, religion, mental or physical disability, age, political affiliation, belief, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, or gender identity
    • Foster a harassment-free workplace by providing trainings that include expected crew behaviors and procedures for resolving or reporting problems, and utilizing programs such as Rise Up, Green Dot, All Voices, and the Wider Opportunities for Women harassment-free workplace check list.
  • Reduce barriers to participation, for example, by providing assistance to acquire tools and supplies necessary for completion of an apprenticeship in the trades and avoiding the charge of fees to participants for referral, training, equipment or other job-related expenses.
  • Maintain applications from qualified women and minorities for the duration of the project and contact them when an opening occurs.
  • Commit to growing the pool of diverse workers and avoid shifting women and people of color to different projects in order to meet diversity goals, or utilizing workers previously employed at a journey-level or those who have successfully completed a training course leading to journey-level status in order to satisfy apprentice goals.
  • Recruit graduates of certified pre-apprentice programs with a proven record of serving the target population.
  • Become a BOLI registered Training Agent.
  • Allow for scheduled job site visits by participants in community-based programs, as safety allows, to increase awareness of job and training opportunities in construction.
  • For subcontracts, include similar provisions and expectations regarding recruitment, retention, inclusion, and advancement.
  • For large projects, consider developing a community benefit agreement and/or an inclusive workforce coordinating and oversight committee.