We’ve all heard of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that provides $1.2 trillion in Federal funds for transportation infrastructure, resiliency, and environmental improvements. These monies started to subsidize projects last year, and a 16% increase for civil construction is expected this year.
What does this mean for general/prime contractors and MWBE’s? This means there will be more contracts, which equates to more opportunities for work. State and local governments add IIJA funds to contracts that have other funding sources (ex. USDOT, state, or local public works budgets) to stretch the IIJA dollars and maximize the number of projects that can be financed. With these additional monies, an agency can finance more projects. IIJA monies do not have goals, but when they are paired with Federal, state, or municipal funds, there will be goals on those contracts.
For example, an airport gets a contract that has IIJA, as well as USDOT funds. USDOT funds will require a DBE goal on that contract. In another example, a city gets a contract that has IIJA, as well as city public works funds. The city happens to have an MWBE program. The city’s funds will require MWBE goals on that contract.
Here are some things that you can do to be ready for these upcoming projects:
- When you find a contract that you want to bid on, read all of the documents so that you know what kind of goal or goals are applied to that contract.
- In addition to the goal(s), the contract will also state what are the required certifications, the directories that need to be used, how participation is credited, and reporting requirements.
- Be aware of the potential for penalties, fines, and liquidated damages if XBE contract requirements are not met. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance at all tiers for the duration of the contract.
- If you’re eligible for DBE certification and you’re not yet certified, start the application process as soon as possible. If you’re eligible for a state or municipal business certification program and you’re not yet certified, start the application process as soon as possible.
- If you’re already certified, review your listing(s) to ensure that your commodity codes are up to date. If they’re not, contact the certifying agency to make changes as soon as possible.
- Every program is different, and they are not reciprocal. Be sure that you know the eligibility criteria for each program that interests you.
It’s important to work with a company, like TSIB, that can make all this easier for you, whether you are a large contractor or a small business. TSIB’s program DiversityAssured, has years of experience in monitoring Federal, state, and local MWBE programs. Some of our services include:
- Assist with monitoring
- Synthesize the requirements
- Assist with reporting
- Conduct project-specific training to all trade partners & staff
- Assist with corrective action
TSIB also has Federal, state, and municipal certification programs expertise. We have successfully assisted firms with new applications as well as updating their commodity codes.
Recently, our DiversityAssured Program team assisted a prime contractor navigate the MWBE, workforce goal, and reporting requirements on their first public contract. Here is what they have to say about our services:
“The DiversityAssured team was especially helpful in explaining the intricacies of the contract language for required MWBE Participation on the project. They created an easy-to-follow matrix graphically showing each project goal, provided useful guidance and templates relating to the documentation of Good Faith Efforts, and closely monitored our and our subcontractors’ monthly reporting. They are very knowledgeable in evaluating MWBEs’ Commercially Useful Function and limiting our company’s exposure to less scrupulous ‘pass thru’ entities. All these services saved our company time and money while ensuring compliance.”
Our Program saves time, money, and produces results. Reach out to us and let our team of professionals support your firm with program development, the performance of good faith efforts, compliance activities, workforce participation, and related administrative services.
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