Inclusive Procurement and Contracting: Building a Field of Policy and Practice

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Emerald Cities and PolicyLink
Denise Fairchild and Kalima Rose

Inclusive Procurement and ContractingThis study, co-authored by Emerald Cities and PolicyLink, and generously supported by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, surveys the current landscape on inclusive procurement and contracting policies and practices in the infrastructure and construction industries. The goal was to specifically determine how to best position minority-owned, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses (MWDBEs) to effectively compete for large-scale construction projects in these industries. A successful inclusive procurement program of action is key not only to providing jobs, but also to closing the wealth gap needed to secure the well-being and future of children, families, and the regions in which they live.

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This report details the rationale for inclusive practices in this industry and includes historical and current equitable development policies and trends. It also identifies challenges and best practices and sets forth recommendations for strengthening the field of practice. The report provides insight into inclusive procurement and contracting policies within the energy, water, transportation, health, education, and public housing sectors. It also considers the field of practice in different geographic regions of the United States. 

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
    Key Findings
Why Inclusive Procurement Matters
    Growth and Impact of Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprises
    The Demand: Enormous Market Opportunities
    The Supply: Labor Shortages
    Closing the Gap: An Equity-Based Solution
Inclusive Procurement and Contracting Policy Primer
    Background on Federal Policies
    The 21st Century Federal Policy Landscape
    The State and Local Policy Landscape
    Navigating the Political Landscape: Race-Averse versus Race-Conscious Policies
    The Geographic Landscape
    Sector-Specific Inclusive Policy Levers
    Policy Conclusions
    Policy Recommendations
Inclusive Procurement and Contracting Practices
    Strengthening Demand-Side Factors
    Strengthening Supply-Side Factors
    Conclusions and Practice Recommendations
Inclusive Procurement and Contracting Field Building
    Mapping the Field
    Role of Community Organizations
    Messaging and Communication
    Field Building Recommendations
    Appendix A: List of Interview Participants
    Appendix B: State Agency Overview Matrix
Notes and Bibliography

Sources: PolicyLink

Conceptual Frameworks & Approaches
Job Training
International CED
Policy Development & Advocacy

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