For about a quarter of a century, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston has been visibly displeased with the county’s efforts to conduct more business with Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE).
However, after a string of moves by Guilford County government, Alston is now praising the county’s efforts, and, at a commissioners meeting in mid-April, Alston was effusive in his comments regarding the new MWBE director and the county’s latest effort to get more MWBE participation in county contracts.
Truth be told, the county’s use of women-owned businesses over the last two and a half decades has not been that abysmal. However, the amount of participation of minority-owned businesses has been low all century long, and, until now, Alston has been one of the biggest critics of that fact.
At times over the years, Alston has even raked MWBE staff over the coals in public meetings and has been critical of the county’s efforts in the press. He has also sent out special invitations to black business owners to come to commissioners meetings and voice their complaints over how the county has treated minority firms at times.
But no more. Alston is singing a different tune these days.
The county, largely at Alston’s behest, has spent $300,000 on a diversity study, shelled out more money for new county software that tracks MWBE participation at a highly detailed level, hired new MWBE Director Shaunne Thomas (pictured above), and, in one fell swoop earlier this year, added five new positions to the MWBE Department that previously only had three positions.
The county recently held its first major public MWBE event under the new structure, and Alston called the event highly successful and said it was a clear sign that Guilford County was finally on the right MWBE track.
“Shaunne Thomas had an excellent program this past Monday at Barber Park with East Greensboro Now,” a beaming Alston said at the Thursday, April 20 commissioners meeting. “She had vendors there; she had contractors there. It was a great, great event.”
“That’s what we are looking for in our MWBE director – to include the community as far as business with the county,” Alston added. “Hat’s off to Shaunne Thomas.”
Alston told the Rhino Times recently that after years and years of neglect, it’s very heartening to see the county finally take MWBE issues seriously.
Lol….just gathering votes….at a very high price.
And at what cost?
I’d like to have Shaunne come over and help me with my affairs. SWMs are a minority and I need help, at taxpayer expense, of course.
skip is so full of S$$T. Please tell us taxpayers how much of our dollars are costing us for your gleeful praise of your “Reparations “. That’s all this is.
Skippy is pleased and that’s all that maters. God forbid contractors should be able to hire the best qualified.
I should hold my own counsel on this matter. Continue to request for bids with the main boxes being checked are the race and sex ones, regardless of the cost or proven performance.
I’d wager the new jail and sheriff’s office, for example, will cost at least twice what Samet would have gotten.
Racist liberal practices for a racist liberal board.
It’s simple make diversification a staple of your hiring process or go bid Raleigh Jobs. Want to work inside the county boarder act as such.
A few of my friends and myself are having a little party Saturday evening to celebrate mwbe’s. Care to join us
As a commercial subcontractor for years, I have mixed feelings about the MWBE issues. But, I think they could all be resolved simply by the county establishing something like a “bid repository”. All the bids from the subcontractors would come into a central location on or by a certain date and then all subcontractor bids are closed. The General Contractors would then have access to them for a period of time and put together their bids to be submitted to the county using only those bids and bid amounts in the repository. The county would also get access at the same time to ensure that all subs MWBE and non-MWBE get equal treatment and eliminate any playing with the bid amounts or ignoring low bids from MWBE subs. It should be fairly easy for the county to establish a system to ensure that all MWBE and non-MWBE subcontractors get an invitation to bid and a digital access point to obtain plans and specifications for putting together their pricing. By doing this there would be no more questions about seeking enough MWBE bids or that those bids received equal weight with non-MWBE bids.
An excellent suggestion Mongo, which is why it never happen
Yeah…..way too much transparency.
Learn how to spell dumba&&. You must be a product of Guilford County schools
That was big city not you Alan
Have results of MWBE ever been published for public view? I would like to know about the outreach program. How is it conducted? What companies or government entities participate in the program? How many companies are MWBE companies? What is the division between Blacks, other minorities, White women, and any other participants? How many MWBEs receive contracts as result of the program? What type of contracts are awarded, construction, service? How much tax money is spent on the program? What are the goals of MWBE and how measured to determine if the program is a success? These are questions any organization would ask and measure, so the stats should already be available. This is a good records request.
Yeah…..way too much transparency.
Just reverse discrimination in action by racist county commissioners .