PWSA leadership has placed supplier diversity at the forefront of every procurement contract as we work to advance the goals outlined in our Water Equity Roadmap. This year, we analyzed our supplier data resulting in our first Supplier Diversity Program Annual Report.
The two-page report highlights our direct capital spending on Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (MWDBE) vendors and contractors throughout 2021. PWSA spent $31,294,999 on contracts with 76 MWDBE businesses, totaling 18% of capital expenditures. This spending falls within our Supplier Diversity Program policy goal of 10-25% of all contracts to be dedicated to MWDBE businesses. The types of contracts include annual maintenance contracts such as sewer reconstruction and surface restoration, supply of water treatment chemicals, clean fill removal, landscaping, plumbing, and electrical work.
The report also highlights our local and regional impact using a national model through IMPLAN*. Our contracts resulted in $53,821,031 in direct, indirect, and induced economic outcomes for the surrounding communities and region. According to the IMPLAN model, the direct impact is our initial investment in the local community through our contracts. The indirect impact is the resulting effects of business-to-business purchases. Induced impact refers to the amount of household spending that keeps money in the region.
2022 Program Improvements
In addition to publishing the annual report, PWSA expanded the Supplier Diversity Program staff to provide more resources for our vendors and contractors. This additional support has helped us meet and exceed our policy goals. Below is a summary of our progress in 2022 to date.
- Virtual Office Hours: Dedicated one-on-one time is available for MWDBE businesses to meet with our team to resolve issues or ask questions. Visit https://www.pgh2o.com/developers-contractors-vendors/supplier-diversity-program to sign up for a time slot.
- Quarterly Supplier Diversity Audits: Launched in March, the audits include all board-approved projects that are more than 25% complete and have fallen short of their committed supplier diversity goals. A staff member will follow up with the project owner to determine the source of the deficiency to rectify and track the project as work progresses.
- Expanded Outreach: With two planned large-scale events, we are providing new ways for businesses to connect and understand our processes.
- We are currently hosting a four-part virtual 2022 Business Development Series throughout May and June aimed at historically disadvantaged businesses, building owners, developers, contractors, and consultants. Each session focuses on helpful hints for common touchpoints that the audience has with PWSA. The final session is a “How to do business with PWSA” event on June 22. Registration is open, and interested attendees can sign up on our website at https://www.pgh2o.com/2022-business-development-series-registration.
- The second event, planned for November, will highlight the opportunities for diverse suppliers within our Water Reliability Plan contracts. The Water Reliability Plan is a series of once-in-a-generation capital improvements totaling $470 million over the next five years. The Water Reliability Plan projects will result in a minimum of $30-45 million in direct MWDBE spend. To read more about the Plan, visit our website. More information about the date and location of this event to come.
“As we’re investing more dollars into our infrastructure, we must be deliberate about integrating equity and inclusion into how we do business so that everyone benefits,” said Will Pickering, CEO of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. “The 2021 Supplier Diversity Report demonstrates that our outreach efforts and increased attention are generating results. We are committed to increasing MWDBE spend in 2022 and beyond.”
* IMPLAN® model, 2020 Data, using inputs provided by PWSA and IMPLAN Group LLC, IMPLAN System (data and software), 16905 Northcross Dr., Suite 120, Huntersville, NC 28078 www.IMPLAN.com.