In September 2017, the Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) administration brought together a group of construction representatives to look at the practices of SPPS procurement department and make recommendations on changes that would drive more inclusion. The SPPS is budging $600 million in construction and modification contracting over the next 10 years. AWC sat on this council. One of the strongest recommendations I made was that the procurement department change their procedures on how they solicit contractors. If contractors don’t know where to find the opportunities then they can’t find the opportunities. I also recommended pushing opportunities out to contractors. Hosting a “How to do business with the Saint Paul Public Schools” meet and greet is also something that could be done in the near future. I think that immediately changing the procurement process will increase the utilization of small businesses in this market.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune coverage link is here