Thursday, 1 of March , 2012

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $82 million in construction contracts will be available for New York Minority-and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) as part of the $373 million CUNY Advanced Science Research Center project. The Governor’s MWBE Team, which is tasked with removing barriers that have historically limited MWBE participation in state contracting, worked to ensure equal opportunities for MWBE firms on this project. The CUNY center is located at 133rd street and Convent Avenue in Harlem.

“I have repeatedly stressed my commitment to expanding opportunities for minority businesses,” Governor Cuomo said. “These contracts will bolster minority businesses and allow them to prosper, create more jobs and better compete in New York’s economy. I commend the members of the MWBE Team for their hard work.”

These contracts are part of the final phase of the CUNY project, which is worth approximately $373 million, which includes approximately $82 million in contracts for New York State certified MWBE firms. The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), which has set a goal of 22 percent MWBE utilization for the project, provided tax-exempt financing for the CUNY project.

William Thompson, MWBE Team Chair said, “Governor Cuomo knows a more competitive economy means more economic opportunity for New Yorkers. By awarding $82 million in contracts Governor Cuomo is once again demonstrating his extraordinary commitment to expanding opportunities for minority and women businesses.”

DASNY President Paul T. Williams, Jr. said, “There’s nothing more powerful than the opportunity to meet face to face with decision makers when a business owner is looking for opportunities to grow. Events like this one today help continue the important strides achieved at the annual New York State MWBE Forum. Initiatives like this will continue to highlight the robust market of available MWBE firms capable of competing for state projects. Their engagement in competitive bidding processes helps to ensure the economic vitality of our state. I believe it’s one of the key elements in DASNY’s successful record of MWBE utilization.”

Empire State Development President, CEO, & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York is providing minority and women-owned businesses with the tools they need to grow. The $82 million in contracts will help break down barriers so minority and women entrepreneurs have access to the resources they need to invest, expand and create new jobs.”

Lisa S. Coico, President, The City College of New York said, “The CUNY Advanced Science Research complex being built on The City College of New York campus is destined to play an important role in Harlem’s economic future. By consistently working to connect minority-and women owned businesses to this project, Governor Cuomo and Skanska remind us how important diversity and community involvement are to the project’s success.”

William Flemming, President of Skanska USA Building, construction manager for CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center said, “Skanska has a long history of working with the local contracting community to ensure that businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to work on our projects. At the CUNY Advanced Science Research project, approximately one quarter of the contract value will be performed by minority- and women- owned businesses. And with the help of events like this, we expect not only to meet state MWBE requirements, but we also expect to exceed them, as we have on many of our projects in New York.”

Like the annual New York State MWBE Forum, the Governor’s office and the MBWE Team held a business showcase today to provide an invaluable networking opportunity for business owners to showcase their skills and allow prime contractors and state decision makers to visit a wide variety of MWBE exhibits. Over 100 prime contractors and decision makers registered to connect with local MWBE firms during the showcase event to gain a better understanding of the MWBEs areas of expertise and learn how they can work with these businesses on this and other projects.

Empire State Development (ESD), the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), City College of New York (CCNY), New York City Department of Small Business Services and Skanska USA were among the co-sponsors of the business showcase.

Governor Cuomo issued an executive order establishing the MWBE team, in order to explore ways to meet his goal of expanding minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) participation in state contracting to 20 percent.