Anyone who was worried that Guilford County government wasn’t taking a lack of minority-owned company participation in county contracts seriously enough can rest much easier now.
On Thursday, Jan. 5, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, out of the blue, made the stunning move of creating five new county positions to fill with employees dedicated solely to getting more minority businesses participating in contracts with Guilford County and providing goods and services to the county.
Since the 1990s, Guilford County government has had an official program meant to increase the number of minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) participating in county construction contracts and providing the county with goods and services.
At first, those duties were simply assigned to an employee in the Guilford County Purchasing Department.
Then, about a decade ago, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston managed to get a department director-level position established for a county MWBE director.
That director, after unsuccessful efforts to increase MWBE participation, asked the board for an assistant and then for another assistant. Those positions were eventually granted and filled and it became a three-person department.
While it took about two decades for the county to establish a department dedicated to MWBE participation and get it up to three employees, it only took a blink of an eye Thursday night for the county to take that same department from three positions to eight – nearly tripling its size in one vote.
Usually, new county positions are added in June when the county passes a new budget. Each year, department directors of critical services such as Emergency Services, the Sheriff’s Department, or the Department of Social Services plead, often unsuccessfully, for one or two new needed positions to be added. They’re often turned down, however, on January 5, the commissioners, in the middle of the budget year, added five new positions to increase women-owned and minority-owned business participation. The focus will be on minority participation because over the years the county has had some success doing business with female owned firms but has a dismal record when it comes to using minority vendors.
The January 5 vote came after the commissioners heard a summary of the results of a disparity study which recommended, among other things, hiring more county employees dedicated to promoting MWBE participation.
The board’s six Democratic commissioners and three Republican commissioners voted unanimously to back the move, which is now going to cost county taxpayers $630,000 a year to fund the five positions.
Before the vote, Alston argued that the county had tried for decades to address the MWBE issue with miserable results, and this was a chance for the board to make a real effort to tackle the problem.
The county intends to fill two of the five positions at first and then use the remainder of the $630,000 to hire outside help to increase MWBE participation until all five positions are filled. County taxpayers will then pay that $630,000 annually in salaries and benefits for the new employees.
The county is also purchasing software that will help track the amount of success of MWBE programs, though county officials couldn’t immediately provide the cost of that software.
The three Republican commissioners all asked some challenging questions that suggested they had serious concerns about the move but in the end they voted to approve the action just as the Democratic commissioners did. It’s not uncommon for the Republican Guilford County commissioners to “pick their battles” and vote yes when it’s clear that the Democrats have enough votes to pass a motion.
Can WHITE people get hired
Yes. Apparently beyond the percentage of their make up of the community but you go ahead and worry about their well being.
Since they are my kind I will and thanks for warm words and support
Your open embrace of your own bigotry is staggering and sad.
Thank you for your kind words and support. Happy trails to you
I am sorry but I believe I have missed something . You have a department of one person who cannot get the job done. So, using Democrat logic, keep same department but ADD two more employees AND STILL CAN NOT BE SUCCESSFUL! So , once more using the Democratic book on how to bankrupt cities and/or states, with a department that has not been successful by any means, the county INCREASES THE LABOR FORCE TO 8!! With a budget over half a million dollars and a hand shake. Fire everyone one of these good people, give me $300,000 ( i will supply my own office and supplies) and I will guarantee results within two days. Wait , I just broke the rule. I COULD be successful within two days but won’t because it is not what you truly want to happen. It is really bad when elected officials are doing under the table dealings but don’t do it under the table. They just don’t care now. I give up.
This is just skips way of implementing reparations. He’s such a racist a$$ hole
As I’ve said before…and we are surprised by this why?
5 people to hire minorities seems a bit overkill. And..not to mention that our Government should hire on a basis of worth, not color or gender.
If this wrong can’t be done with 1 or 2 positions, let’s get 5 positions to accomplish something wrong and immoral.
Our tax money at…..work?
The lack of bus drivers is a direct result of incompetent minority personnel who abuse their authority and won’t do the job, answer their phones, or return calls when a non minority person is involved. I drove a tour bus for 14 years hauling kids all over the country with over 300,000 safe miles and it took me 6 mouths to get the “S” on my license so I could drive an activity bus. They then terminated my employment for not taking a road test that I was never told about. Waste some more tax money by forced hiring more incompetents.
Even I think that is insane!
The will of the poor oppressed black people in our country
And women. But your focus of people of color makes since given your open bigotry.
You surly meant sense and not since. Maybe you could do better in Latin but again thanks for your support
Just like boiling a frog 1 degree at a time.
Please someone tell me when this throwing money away is going to end. First they want this, and then they want that. And when all is said and done, or not done they want more.
Skips way of reparations
True words. If Skip and others of his bent want reparations, go to the source of slavery in the western hemisphere, his ancestors in Africa that hunted down fellow Africans and sold them into slavery. Reparations should come from them. Good luck with that.
Term limits for Skip Alston!
Lol….630k for racism…we’re still in the 60’s. Alot of money to buy jobs and votes for a particular group of people. Hope their work meets established standards. Since these will be govt funded, makes me think why they can’t make it without being spoon fed.
“A lot of money to buy jobs and votes for a particular group of people.”
It’s called payback.
Only king skippy, positions not budgeted but passed anyway. Boy just think had Billy Yow tried this little skip would still be standing on his head. I still remember “cow gate” and how skip thought WHITE Billy was trying to get over on poor black people skippy almost had a coronary right then and there. Shame on you skippy. Remember KARMA
These positions are almost always filled by minorities. Why is Skip Alston worried about minority businesses since he is single-handily giving county government jobs to minorities? Why would a minority expend time, energy, heartache, and money starting a business when a minority can be gainfully employed by the county and receive at least an additional 20% of pay in benefits? Skip is running a hiring program for Black minorities, whose salaries are paid by all taxpayers. As far as the Republican commissioners who voted for the hiring because Dems hold the majority, shame on you. Have you no integrity? Have you no principle? Regardless of voting strength, votes should be based on integrity and principle, which apparently the Republican commissioners lack. Commissioners, please provide the sex and race of the four (4) new hires.
and so goes Greensboro…..the Mytle Beach of the Piedmont…..nothing but drugs, crime, more minority hand-outs……aren’t times hard enough now for the average Joe, in just making ends meet..?
Please do not insult Myrtle Beach.
I’ve lived in NMB. The place has no class, and no culture. If you like bars, joints, restaurants, golf, tennis, or walking on the beach; have at it. I tried it for a while, after all that, there is nothing else.
All sorts of onerous “beach rules” like no surfing, windsurfing, para-sailing, tents, etc. etc. And parking meters EVERYWHERE, public beaches and all. Oh, drainage pipes dumping in the ocean right where you play in it.
Myrtle Beach IS dangerous, NMB is not quite so.
Government funded racism. It may not be illegal, but it’s unethical as hell. Be sure and thank your local democrats for funding operation charlie foxtrot.
Discrimination IS illegal.
You morons don’t even take the time to understand how the program works. They are focused on getting more women and minority groups to PARTICPATE in the bidding process. They still have to be qualified and still have to be low bidder, etc…. But you go ahead be grumpy about more things you don’t understand.
chris you would do well in talking to any local contractors who have been in business for any length of time in GC or Greensboro. They will tell you that the process to bid on any city- county projects is not worth the the trouble because of the absurd rules about mwbe. Too time consuming and frustrating is what I’ve heard time and time again. This is one of the main reasons the county schools and city officials are finding it hard to get contractors to bid their projects, not because they are busy or construction is booming right now as the city-county officials want you to believe. Private projects have no problem getting contractors. But again you be you and believe what you want after all we are grumpy old men and we don’t know diddly.
The contractor building my new house also does city projects at various times. He describes it as the nature of doing business with governments and has a good bid control manager so does well on his city contracts both here in Greensboro and in Chapel Hill / Durham as well.
A minority or female must become state certified as a minority owned business. Once certified, the City of Greensboro’s M/WBE office can use this information in the contractor selection process. A M/WBE contractor does not have to be the low bidder to be awarded a contract. A point system is sometimes used to make a final contractor decision.
It does not take a separate department to administer a M/WBE program. Once the state certifies a contractor, why does the City of Greensboro or Guilford County need their own certification program? They do not. If a local government has their own M/WBE program, it is for subjective decisions, and control. It is not to select the best of the candidates that presented a bid but to assure control, if needed.
All you need to do is look at the city council to know “they” have their fingers in which contractors get bids or not. If you don’t believe that, you don’t understand politics.
The current Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise (MWBE) program for the city might be far more successful if the individual who helped develop the program actually had a business instead of a sociology degree and was a successful businessman instead a a failed businessman who is clinging to his days of glory. Having a personal relationship with a certain council member also gets you extra brownie points and nominations to City Council.
This article is about the county commissioners not the city council
Both are governments. I certainly get aNnie’s point. Governments share their incompetent ideas…monkey see monkey do.
I’ve worked in government for over two decades and watched this happen over and over. I’m fairly certain that all director level positions in local government are filled in lodge meetings, on the golf course, or in the cigar lounge long before they get rubber stamped by the governing body. The people who are coming in from other areas with glowing endorsements usually suck the most. It appears the places they leave paint them in a way no one could refuse to take them off their hands. Follow the money, politicians, & bovine feces and it will all come together. Same mess, different day. Let’s just hope our great grandchildren can turn it around and live in a land of common sense. Millenials & Gen Z’s have no chance.
NO ,the first thing to do is fire all the Democrats on Thr Commissioners Board . It is time to fire SKIP or he’ll die in office or you’ll have to get a group with crowbars and pry his hiney out of that plush seat . Has anyone contacted the undertaker yet?
I am in favor of voting them ALL out.
If NC state, county and cities had term limits, Skip Alston would have only the Woolworth scam going on.
If discriminating amongst people on the basis of their race is wrong, why is our government doing it?
BOHICA, Guilford County
This all the current leadership of the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education thinks about.
They are not worried about spending the taxpayers money wisely. Very disappointed in the votes of our 3 Republican Commissioners. This is uncalled for by adding 5 more positions in January. This should have been included in last year’s budget or the upcoming year’s budget, not whenever the Chairman wants to do this!!