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Growing MBEs/WBEs Grows Neighborhoods
>>AMY SUSAN: Hi, I’m Amy Susan, Director of Communications for the Missouri Department of Labor. On this weeks edition of Labor Talk, a podcast where experts discuss workplace issues that affect your life, I’m joined here with Alan Green, he’s the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity with the Office of Administration. Alan, welcome to the show.
>>ALAN GREEN: Thank you.
>>SUSAN: Thanks for coming today, and talking to us about MBE/WBE’s.
>>SUSAN: Can you first explain what you do for the Department or for the State, and how long you’ve been with the state?
>>GREEN: Yes, well I handle The Office of ugh Equal Opportunity. And we have the minority and women owned businesses and also that’s on one side, and then we also have the workforce side, and so there’s two sides of the Office of Equal Opportunity, but we also have certification that’s also built in there. So we certify minority and women owned businesses.
>>SUSAN: Ok, let’s just get started and can you explain to those watching what MBE/WBE means, cause those in state government understand what that means umm, but anyone outside probably has no idea what we’re talking about.
>>GREEN: Alright so MBE/WBE. That’s just the term when we’re saying Minority Business Enterprise or Women Business Enterprise, so that’s the MBE/WBE. Ok? And so when you’re talking about minority businesses or women owned businesses so that’s where that comes from.
>>SUSAN: Ok, how can a MBE/WBE get certified with the States to then start doing business with us?
>>GREEN: Ok, and that’s a simple process. What I like to do is I like to steer people toward toward the state website. When you go to the state website, of course you look on there and you see administration. When you click on administration, you’ll see the various divisions that are on The Office of Administration. If you click on The Office of Equal Opportunity, that takes you to our website. Then when you go into that particular website you look for the link where it says certification. Then when you click on the certification link then there unfolds the application. Now everything on that application may not apply to you. We have from 3 billion dollar corporations to mom and pop corporations that’s on that list. So when you look at that, you look at of course how do those questions and how do they fit you? Once you fill out that application, there are of course some questions at the end that may or may not fit you, but in our particular office you can call or you can send an e-mail, and they will walk you through step by step the entire process, and so I always say I will match my staff up against anyone in the state. I have fabulous staff.
>>SUSAN: That’s great. Why should umm MBE/WBE minority owned or business or women owned businesses get certified? What are the benefits?
>>GREEN: Alright, well there couple different benefits. One is is that what we do is we of course we try to help in that area certification because we have what we have a goals system. We don’t have mandates in the state of Missouri, we have a goal system. We have 10 points for minorities, we have 5 points for women. When we use a points system, in the areas of procurement. Ok. When you look at of course various contracts that you want to bid on that’s one of the reasons why it’s important if you are a minority or women owned business because you want to be able to utilize the best leverage that you can. And those points help you. You may want to be a sub. Most contractors in the areas of minorities and women are subs. Alright, very few ugh go out there and contract as a prime. So you may want to partner with a prime as a sub which helps gives them more points to win a contract.
>>SUSAN: So it makes it more attractive.
>>SUSAN: For that contract?
>>GREEN: And so and also it provides the diversity that we’re looking for as a state too.
>>SUSAN: And that goes into the next question, which is why’s it so important for the MBE/WBE to get on state contract? How does it help umm the economic development for the state of Missouri?
>>GREEN: Absolutely. One of the things that is very important too, and I have to mention is we do an annual report and our particular annual report goes to the Governor. We’re working on our new annual report for December 31st. This reports are the recommendations from all the various agencies. How they can achieve their goals to better…when we’re talking about again neighborhoods, disadvantaged neighborhoods, and the growth of businesses we’re talking about taxes, we’re talking about now putting people to work so that’s employment, we’re talking about of course the creation of new jobs because as business grow they hire people. And that strengthens neighborhoods and then that’s more money that goes into the fire district, more money goes into the school district, and if you have a ugh sewer district that’s more money that goes into the community so as businesses grow it strengthens communities, no matter where you are.
>>SUSAN: So would you say that a large majority of these MIBE WBI’s are smaller ma and pops or could they be larger companies that we deal with?
>>GREEN: Yes. Again we have anywhere from a 3 billion dollar ugh entity like world wide technology that’s on our rose then we have ugh of course Rose International that’s on there, but then we have mom and pop shops that’s on there, and those mom and pop shops might be embroidery, and that mom and pop may be doing one hundred thousand a year, and they may have 3 or 4 employees maybe doing two, three hundred thousand. Maybe a mom and pop that’s doing 30 or 40 thousand, and they just want to secure contract, but one of the things that we’re trying to do too and looking at our Rose, is we wanna see how the certification is being used. So, we’re asking in a slight survey when we recertifying what or how are you going out and securing other business besides the state? And so we’re looking at how those businesses are growing because again everything or when we look at those businesses, everything’s not coming from the state. You may be applying for something with IBM, you may be doing something with Amrin UE, you may be doing something with Dillards, you may be doing a contract all over the state or in the country and you’re just using the certification that we provided through the state of Missouri for you, but you’re still building your business. And that’s why the certification is so important and we wanna track that because that strengthens the state of Missouri.
>>SUSAN: What are your efforts as OA? What are your efforts as well as the state’s to really grow the MBE/WBE contracts with the state?
>>GREEN: Ok. We’re actually going out into the field. We’re partnering with Missouri PTAC, which is Missouri Technical Assistance Center, and we’re doing a series of workshops across the state. Our goal is is not only to get them certified, but we wanna help them grow. Missouri PTAC will work with you in the areas again ugh how do you secure contract? How does your business plan look? Do you have a business plan? If you’re looking at federal, state or local contracts how do you go through the internet, go on there and find those contracts? Ok. How do you put a proposal together? Missouri PTAC will work with you on building your skills, to help you build your business. That is a piece that we find that is a good collaboration.
>>SUSAN: Well, thank you for joining us today.
>>GREEN: You’re welcome.
>>SUSAN: And for your words of wisdom and again to encourage those who aren’t familiar with this to get on OA’s website and learn a little bit more about the certification process.
>>GREEN: Thank you
>>SUSAN: Thank you. If you have any other comments or concerns you can visit labor.mo.gov, click on news and notices, and then click on labor talk podcast.