The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) expands economic opportunities for minority, women, veteran, and service-disabled business enterprises.
New procurement policy establishes goals to diversify selection of contractors, vendors, consultants, and service providers doing business with PWSA.
Pittsburgh, PA – Minority, women-owned, veteran, and service-disabled businesses make up 45% of businesses in Pittsburgh as of the 2012 U.S. Census. As PWSA ramps up its capital program and advertises for the equipment, materials, and supplies needed to provide water and sewer services, it’s essential that equal opportunities are provided to disadvantaged business enterprises.
“Diversifying our business partners is the right thing to do for a number of reasons,” stated Robert Weimar, PWSA’s Interim Executive Director. “It increases competition, establishes long-term vendor relationships, and bolsters the economic vitality of our local business community. We want to see more businesses competing for our contracting opportunities, and it’s our hope that these new policy goals make them more available.”
PWSA’s Equal Opportunity Policy (EOP) will help to expand contracting and purchasing opportunities to a broader range of businesses and creates more competition throughout the bidding process. The EOP applies to contracts with a value of $250,000 or more. PWSA’s goal is to award 18% of contracts to minority-owned businesses, 7% to women-owned, and 5% to veteran and service-disabled veteran businesses. Contractors bidding on PWSA opportunities are encouraged to partner with the above categories of businesses.
Businesses wishing to participate in PWSA’s contracting and purchasing opportunities must have a certification from a government-based or nationally recognized private certifying agency. There are five certifying agencies within the state of Pennsylvania including the Allegheny County Office of Minority, Women, Disadvantaged Businesses, PennDOT, and the Port Authority of Allegheny County. PWSA accepts certifications from Pennsylvania and out-of-state programs. Certifications are typically awarded by local municipalities, county, or state certification agencies. A variety of certification resources are listed on PWSA’s website at www.pgh2o.com/equalopportunity.
PWSA’s Board of Directors adopted the Equal Opportunity Policy in December 2017. The policy is available on our website as a downloadable pdf file.
“We are proud to encourage economic opportunities to foster the growth and development of minority, women-owned, veteran and service-disabled businesses,” stated PWSA Board Chair, Paul Leger. “As we aggressively renew our water system, we want to make sure we’re including as many qualified businesses as possible. The Equal Opportunity Policy will help us draw from a larger pool to complete the work and provide the services we need to deliver the water, sewer, and stormwater services Pittsburgh expects and deserves.”