AAP staff report
St. Paul, Minn. (October 15, 2010) – The City of Saint Paul Office of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission held a 2010 Contract Compliance Training to outline Vender Outreach Program goals in coming projects. The meeting covered the importance of Good Faith Efforts when soliciting at least five certified companies for each subcontract. The advantage of the goals, they said, is that a certified company may get preference even over a lower bid.
Watch the six workshop videos online at http://www.youtube.com/user/aanews#p/u/17/NeUWEIdus_E.
Projects discussed included the $30 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the Invest Saint Paul initiative to revitalize key neighborhoods. It involves city, businesses and residents in coordination with the public safety and other agencies to address factors of distress.
The Section 3 Certified Business List is race and gender neutral and used exclusively on City of Saint Paul projects. Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 that promotes local economic development, neighborhood economic improvement, and individual self-sufficiency.
The City of Saint Paul maintains a list of Section 3 businesses and residents who qualify under Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. The preferences provided under this regulation are based on income level and location.
Section 3 is intended to ensure that when employment or contracting opportunities are generated because a Section 3 covered project or activity requires the employment of additional persons or the awarding of contracts for work, preference must be given to low and very-low income persons or business concerns residing in the community where the project is located.
Section 3 covered projects involve the construction or rehabilitation of housing or other public construction and requires recipients of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent feasible, provide job training, employment, and contract opportunities for low-or very low income residents in connection with projects and activities in their neighborhoods.
A Section 3 Resident is qualified for public housing or an individual who resides in the metropolitan area who qualifies as low-income – less than 80 percent of the area median income.
To register as a Section 3 business or resident with the City of Saint Paul, complete the certification form that applies to your status. General contractors that qualify can bid as a self-performer of the project, or if not then guarantee an agreed on percentage of its subdivision subcontracts would go to qualified firms.
Affirmative Action applies to all companies when it comes to government construction or non-construction contracting in Minnesota, and with all in-state or out-state firms. It requires the firm is registered as a sole-proprietorships, an LLC a qualified nonprofit or volunteer organization, developer, goods and material supplier, or a professional development corporation.
Affirmative Action requires that contractors funded by the city of Saint Paul have labor goals for the construction projects. Of the total hours on the project, at least 11 percent should be minority skilled craft. An additional 11 percent should by minority unskilled, and 6 percent should be female.
The city monitors the goals throughout the project and payment may be delayed if the contractor is not following through on its goals. The best advise from the meeting was for firms to get registered on the contracting list.
To find Certified Companies, Directories and Applications visit www.govcontracts.org.
Find applications and forms online at www.stpaul.gov/section3. If you need of a copy of the Section 3 Certified Business List, please contact the Section 3 Administrator at 651-266-8900 or [email protected].