I'm Certified, What's Next? Workshop
Date: Thurs. July 25, 2013
Garden Level Aud.
611 Walker Street
Houston, TX 77002
Time: 10:00Am - 11:00AM
Liftoff! Houston Workshops
Liftoff! Houston offers a 5 part workshops series to non competing individuals to help create a business plan and start their business! .
|611 Walker, 7th Floor|
Houston, TX 77002
Letter From Director: Carlecia D. Wright
Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Insights to Opportunity, OBO's e-newsletter designed to keep you informed about opportunities, programs, and initiatives that can help Educate, Connect, and Grow your small, minority, woman, or disadvantaged business enterprise.
On May 10, 2013, I sent an e-announcement to our friends, partners, and MWSDBE community, informing everyone about the May 8, 2013 City Council action which 1) increased the citywide participation goal on construction contracts from 22% to 34%; and 2) amended the Code of Ordinances, Chapter 15, which governs the City of Houston's MWSDBE Program. The approved amendments not only reinstate Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) back in construction contract specific goals, but allows for several procedural changes that will enhance the program's effectiveness. These changes include:
- Review of the MWBE Program every five years.
- Expansion of geographic boundaries to include two new counties: San Jacinto and Austin Counties.
- Revision of the City's Good Faith Efforts Policy.
- Requirement that contractors submit their MWSBE participation plans for meeting contract goals at the time of bid submission. In addition to the information provided with solicitation documents and at pre-bid conferences, the City will host an informational session for contractors on this new requirement during the month of July.
- Implementation of a three year MWSBE certification with an annual compliance review.
- Standardization of department accountability for monitoring of Good Faith Efforts in meeting contract goal, goal waivers, and MWBE department utilization plans.
- Acceptance of Disabled Veterans status as defined by the Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs, for inclusion in the Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise Program.
All changes became effective July 1, 2013.
As many of you are already aware, in April, 2013, Mayor Annise Parker launched TweetMyJobs Houston! a new citywide, innovative online jobs platform which allows employers to connect directly with job seekers through the utilization of social media. If your organization or small, minority, or woman-owned business is seeking to hire, I urge you to join the more than 400 local businesses that have already registered with TweetMyJobs Houston! to find your most qualified applicants. Visit the TweetMyJobs Houston! website to register or to learn more about this revolutionary platform. You can also obtain information by contacting Madyson Chavez at 832.393.0622 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you have a very safe and relaxing summer. If you have any comments or suggestions, email me at email@example.com.
Carlecia D. Wright
Houston Hobby International Terminal Project
Southwest Airlines recently launched a series of contracting fairs to kick-off the hiring process for the new Houston Hobby International Terminal Project. Currently, the Professional Design Services work is underway and the construction work will begin in the third and fourth quarters of this year. The contracting job fair, held earlier this month, drew an estimated 300 attendees eager to learn more about the business opportunities the new project will provide.
A study conducted by the Houston Airport System (HAS) indicates that the new international terminal and the resulting competition to short haul destinations will bring as many as 10,000 jobs to the Greater Houston metropolitan area, and will generate an economic impact of $1.6 billion. The airline will be applying the principles of the "Hire Houston First" program when bidding the work for this project. As a result, Southwest anticipates 80 to 90 percent of all jobs will be given to local businesses.
Southwest Airlines has a well-qualified and experienced local project team. Corgan Associates is the designer and lead architect for the terminal, and Hensel-Phelps CBIC Joint Venture is the construction manager at risk (CMAR) for the project. Principle Partnering Group, LLC, the diversity outreach firm for the project, is assisting the airline with communicating project bidding opportunities to Minority and Women Business Enterprises, as well as Hire Houston First companies.
Southwest is working closely with the City of Houston and HAS to design a terminal that is structurally consistent with the existing building. The latest design renderings released by the airline showcase an open and airy terminal with an expanded check-in area and a new approach to the curbside drop-off. Southwest anticipates the first international flights from Hobby to begin in 2015.
Please visit www.houhobby.com for more information on how to do business with Southwest Airlines and for the latest information about the project.
Featured City Department:
Houston Parks & Recreation
If you think you know the Houston Parks & Recreation Department (HPARD), think again! There is more to this department than landscaping and pools. Since 1916, HPARD has grown from two facilities, Sam Houston Park & Hermann Park, to 366 developed parks, 60 community centers, and seven golf courses. Their mission is to enhance the quality of urban life by providing safe, well-maintained parks and offering affordable programs for the community. They achieve this mission with the help of over 800 full time employees and an excellent "pool" of vendors.
The Houston Parks & Recreation Department awarded over 3 million dollars to certified firms in FY2012 amounting to a 16% utilization. Opportunities with HPARD range from purchasing board games and pool equipment to providing landscaping and apparel needs. While offering multiple programs like the After School Enrichment and Adult Recreation, HPARD is always looking for trainers and facilitators to enhance the workshops at their community centers throughout the City. Also since HPARD updates and maintains their own facilities, there are additional opportunities for all specialty trades (i.e. plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.). When asked what's the best advice Houston Parks & Recreation Department has for certified firms Senior Procurement Specialist Walter Guthrie said "Read the entire contract." He stressed the importance of understanding the full scope of work and the benefit of attending pre-bid conferences. "We are willing to help small businesses walk through a contract to make sure they understand what is required of them," Guthrie added.
For more information on business opportunities with HPARD contact Walter Guthrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or Maria Padilla, Purchasing Manager, at email@example.com. For more information on the department, go to www.houstontx.gov/parks.
Inside the Office of Business Opportunity:
Texas (HUB) Certification Enhancement
The Office of Business Opportunity is dedicated to providing additional services and benefits that will assist our customers in achieving success. One way we have been able to accomplish this is through a Memorandum of Agreement between the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (Comptroller) and the City of Houston.
The State of Texas' Comptroller of Public Accounts office determined that the City of Houston's certification processes meet the standards established by the Comptroller. As such, the Comptroller and the City of Houston have collaborated in the administration of their respective programs to streamline the certification process; thereby, allowing MWBE businesses that are certified by the City of Houston to become automatically certified as HUBs by the Comptroller, subject to meeting the State HUB eligibility guidelines.
This agreement between the Comptroller and the City of Houston has been in place for the past decade. We are pleased to announce that an enhancement to this long-time agreement is being instituted by the City of Houston's Office of Business Opportunity.
The enhancement features a three year approval as a State HUB which mirrors the three year certification approvals granted by the City of Houston. Previously, the State HUB certification carried a one year approval period. The enhancement is effective immediately and applies to all HUB certifications obtained through the City of Houston.
Please contact the Office of Business Opportunity Certification Hotline at (832) 393-0600 should you have questions or need additional information regarding the three year State HUB certification approval.
| Success Story: Lazer Construction, Inc
Lazer Construction Co., Inc (Lazer) was founded in 1992 by Ousley L. Lacy, President and CEO. The company specializes in civil construction and performs work on government, industrial, commercial and institutional projects. Lazer is currently certified as Minority, Disadvantaged, and Small Business Enterprise with the City of Houston and recently received their Hire Houston First designation.
Lazer's experience in the construction industry is diversified and includes private, medical, and public sector entities. Lazer's clientele consists of corporations and government agencies such as BBVA Compass Stadium, Shell Oil, Schlumberger Well Services and Technology, Texaco, City of Houston, City of Pearland, Houston and Beaumont Independent School Districts, SpawGlass, OEM, Inc., Texas Medical Center, Rice University, Texas Southern University, places of worship, Houston Community College, and non-profit organizations.
Having celebrated 20 years in business in 2012, Mr. Lacy credits the longevity to taking on the motto that "no job is too big for Lazer." Headquartered in Southeast Houston, Lazer employs approximately 75 people and has over two million dollars of construction equipment. Mr. Lacy also stated that he has built a team of people that has numerous years of experience in the construction industry and has created joint ventures with other prime contractors to compete on large construction projects. Lazer recently acquired a Slip-Form Paver, a machine that has lower manpower requirements, economy of scale, and makes the company more competitive in the greater Houston area. Currently, only a few of the Slip-Form Pavers are in the greater Houston area and in the State of Texas.
| Success Story: Generators of Houston
Generators of Houston, established in 2004 by Louis Giddens, sells, installs and services virtually all makes and models of power generation equipment. Mr. Giddens started the business when the computer company that he already owned suffered an electrical outage and had no backup generator to power the servers for his clients. After speaking with some manufacturers, Mr. Giddens discovered a market to provide small generators to various clients. Starting with just one employee, the company has grown to thirty employees, including plumbers and electricians, and they service over 2500 generators across the State of Texas.
As a Hire Houston First firm with the City of Houston, Generators of Houston has both public and private sector clients. In addition to the Houston Airport System, the company's public sector clients include the cities of Cleveland, Willis, League City, and Clear Lake; and the Houston, Humble, Pasadena, and Katy Independent School Districts. Generators of Houston's private sector clients include Hewlett Packard, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Grocers Supply, and Latin Specialties, an importer and distributor of Mexican and other specialty produce. Generators of Houston also provide residential generators and has well known professional athletes as clients.
Mr. Giddens credits his success to not over extending himself and to starting the business with no debt. His advice to other entrepreneurs is to not start the business in debt and pay as you go.
|We welcome your comments or suggestions. Please e-mail External Affairs Manager, Roger Harris, at Roger.Harris@houstontx.gov.
Educate. Connect. Grow.