Champaign to hear plan to boost women-, minority-owned businesses

CHAMPAIGN — City administrators this week will ask the city council whether they should move forward with a program they hope will bolster the efforts they have already made in the past several years to encourage participation in city projects from women- and minority-owned businesses.

They will unveil details of their plan during a city council study session on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

City officials say they have already been "very proactive" in those efforts during the past five years, according to city documents. They have hosted meetings with minority contractors, encouraged their certification in a state minority contracting program and unbundled larger projects to open up participation from smaller businesses that do not have all the resources that larger, established contractors might have.

For one of the city's largest projects in recent years — the construction of a massive, $31 million fiber-optic network throughout Champaign, Urbana and Savoy — the city council approved an alternative purchasing process developed to encourage participation among women- and minority-owned businesses.

Those efforts were generally regarded by city officials as a success, and they hope to incorporate many of those initiatives in future projects, according to city documents.

Many of the efforts are outreach initiatives, including more education and training for potential contractors, simplifying the bidding process and even developing "how to do business with the city" training.

City council members are scheduled to evaluate those plans during their discussion on Tuesday night.

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tattoo58 wrote on January 28, 2013 at 11:01 am

Don't forget the wheelchair bound.

CU62 wrote on January 28, 2013 at 11:01 am

If they are spending tax dollars to boost the hiring of minorities and women, the "program's" goal must also then be to formally diminish the prospects of white males. 

So should white males be paying taxes to fund their own demise?  Is this like being made to provide the rope others will use to hang you?

What a misguided racist, sexist approach to government.

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 29, 2013 at 11:01 am

It's not about blame. It's about equal opportunity, in which business government does belong. It's neither racist or sexist, and it's not promoting the demise of anyone. But way to mischaracterize program with high minded goals, though, buddy.

use er name wrote on January 29, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Who mentioned "blame"?

How is goverment sponsored inequality "about equal opportunity"

A less qualified/unqualified "minority" individual and a less qualified /unqualified "majority" individual both have the same opportunity. The same can be said for well qualified individuals of minority and majority labeling. Only when the government attempts to bestow benefit upon the group of its preference does inequality arise.

What is a "business goverment"? And where does one belong? China? USSR? Cuba?

ps. please excuse any spelling/grammer errors.in typing, i am less qualifed than others.atleast until the city trains me. or perhhhaps sets a differenntr standard for me.

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 30, 2013 at 9:01 am

 

I don't think you are properly evaluating "opportunity" if you think they are the same for both groups. There is no government sponsored inequality here or elsewhere.

use er name wrote on January 30, 2013 at 11:01 pm

"City officials say they have already been "very proactive" in those efforts during the past five years, according to city documents. They have hosted meetings with minority contractors, encouraged their certification in a state minority contracting program and unbundled larger projects to open up participation from smaller businesses that do not have all the resources that larger, established contractors might have."

   If these effort were directed toward  white Christian males there would be outrage. What is wrong with the moral compass here?"I don't think"! It is not less wrong if the city picks another favorite group. Diverse measures are diverse measures.

  Who are you or anyone else to suppose that minorities are lower class citizens? The assumption that imbalance is based on race/gender, as opposed to pesonal development, responsibility, morals, manners, character, ambition, thirst for knowledge, disipline, humility, sobriety,and all the other attributes that make one better qualified, is in itself racist/sexist and ignorant. Anyone who strives to better her/his self has the same opportunity.

 

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 31, 2013 at 7:01 am

 The assumption that imbalance is based on race/gender, as opposed to pesonal development, responsibility, morals, manners, character, ambition, thirst for knowledge, disipline, humility, sobriety,and all the other attributes that make one better qualified, is in itself racist/sexist and ignorant. Anyone who strives to better her/his self has the same opportunity.

Yeah, that's a load of crap. Imbalance is based on history more than anything else. You can spout all you want about responsibility and character, but the reality is that most people have money because their parents had money. This is just a way to get some new blood in - and that's a good thing. Your claim that we already have equal opportunity is just wrong - we don't. And while it is by no means perfect, I'm not immediately opposed to people trying to correct that.  And no, I don't feel sorry for the poor, put-upon white christian male.

Thanks for the erroneous implication that I'm racist and/or sexist though.

use er name wrote on January 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    If we feel the need to simplify the bidding process,to encourage and train minorities only; are we truly judging others by the content of their character?

    Or do we feel consideration of gender or color more important?

   If so ;do we not presume our,or their, (as the case may be), race or gender to be superior?

 

rsp wrote on February 03, 2013 at 4:02 pm

We can assume that by getting all the big jobs over time some companies have grown large and been able to make contacts that others haven't. Some have had access to large bank loans while others haven't. I wonder which side is which? Do you think having everything handed to you is a right? Or a privilege?

pattsi wrote on February 03, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Interestinyg postings in response to what Champaign is proposing to do to increase the possibility of women-owned and minority-owned businesses bidding on city business. Per the included web sites below, both subpopulations clearly have income disparities for the many reasons included in the reports. Since this is the case, what suggestions, other than those being proposed by Champaign, do posters think will work better to begin to close this gap?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male%E2%80%93female_income_disparity_in_the...

http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_wage_gap_in_the_United_States

rsp wrote on February 03, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I like the steps they are moving in. That gets people in the door. I also had another crazy idea ragarding the high school situation. If they went with three schools, with one being a magnet school, it occurred to me that it could be more of a trades school. Many of these kids don't see a reason to stay in school because it doesn't prepare them for a job. Why not do that for those that really need it? We could create a model on a small scale and see how it goes. If they are waiting till they are 18 and trying to get into Parkland for some it's too late.