United Builders and Contractors, which represents African-American businesses in the construction industry, wants a piece of the pie when it comes to Sedgwick County projects.
The chairman of the association, Eugene Anderson, told commissioners today that the group has met with the county before about establishing a purchasing policy that promotes diversity and ensures that African-American and “other economically and socially disadvantaged businesses maximize opportunity to participate in, compete for and be utilized by Sedgwick County in its procurement of goods and services.”
The Kansas Senate is considering a Small and Disadvantaged Business Development Act, Anderson noted.
Commissioner Gwen Welshimer said it’s time to address minority contractors’ concerns.
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“I think it’s just disgraceful this group would have to come to us (again),” she said. “I think we should correct the problem.”
Commissioner Tim Norton said he would follow the Senate bill and asked sstaff to get information about what other Kansas counties’ policies are regarding minority businesses.
County manager William Buchanan said the county would have to do a disparity study before creating any “set aside” programs.
Read more about the story in Wednesday’s Eagle.