TPA continues to grow its minority business partnerships

(August 4, 2016) Halfway through its historic expansion, and with several other ongoing construction projects underway, Tampa International Airport’s commitment to hiring woman- and minority- owned businesses is stronger than ever. 

The airport has so far paid out nearly $51 million to woman and minority firms working on the various construction projects in the expansion, which began in late 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The airports expects to meet or exceed its goal of paying $122.8 million to such firms.

In June, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board voted to implement more initiatives targeted at increasing small, woman and minority business participation by expanding its outreach for purchases under $100,000 and sheltering bids for federal projects under $1 million for competition by small businesses, as well as other updates to its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Woman- and Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (WMBE) policies.

And in December, the Authority hired new Business Diversity Manager Stephanie Pierce, whose responsibilities include implementing the DBE and WMBE programs for construction projects, including the expansion work. She works in tandem with TPA’s other Business Diversity Manager, Cheryl Hawkins, who focuses on woman- and minority- owned business initiatives for the new concessions program and other non-construction contracts. Hawkins also oversees the DBE and Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) certification process and her extensive knowledge of these programs is a great asset to the Airport as it increases its woman- and minority-owned concessionaires from three to 15.

“Increasing minority and small business participation has been an important objective for Tampa International Airport as we enter this historic period of growth and transformation,” said Elita McMillon, Director of Ethics, Diversity and Administration. “By constantly updating our policies and adding staff to handle more outreach and implement more programs, we hope to include more and more woman and minority business owners, which in turn benefits this community.”

Tampa International Airport recently completed a study, examining potential and available DBE and WMBE participation, and is proposing an overall goal of 12.3 percent on federally funded projects over the next three fiscal years (FY2017-2019). The public is invited to learn more about the methodology for setting the goal and provide comments on Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 5:30 to 6 p.m. in the Authority Board Room in the third floor of the Main Terminal. For those who cannot attend, more information is available at tampaairport.com/business-diversity.

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