A new tracking system will help the city of Buffalo monitor contractors and their hiring practices.
To help track whether contractors are meeting them, Buffalo is modernizing its system. LCP tracker—a labor compliance software company, is providing the city with new software. Compliance data will be uploaded to an online platform.
Chief Diversity Officer Crystal Rodriguez said they’re excited about being able to help contractors.
“We don’t want this to be an acrimonious issue,” said Rodriguez. “We are looking not only to help minority and women owned business, but also help contractors partner. We want to be the bridge builder between those two.”
Their goals are to have 25 percent minority business enterprise and 5 percent women-owned business hired on city projects. Rodriguez said this new technology will allow them to track the contractor on larger projects larger projects.
“At the end or towards the end of the contract, we’re not fumbling saying, ‘You said you were going to meet the goals but you haven’t met the goals and really we are in a predicament where it’s going to be hard for you to meet these goals,’” said Rodriguez. “This way from the beginning, we are able to talk about a plan. We are able to put it in to a computer. The contractors are able to put it in a computer and we’re able to monitor it as the project goes along to see if we’re on track for meeting the goals.”
Buffalo is currently in the preliminary stages. The Common Council just approved its purchase last week. Rodriguez will oversee its implementation.
“More recently, the Governor expressed his ideas about the importance of leveraging funding for and making sure that we’re meeting MWBE goals,” said Rodriguez. “We want to be able to have a succinct system that keeps track of our numbers (and) helps contractors and makes it easier for them because we recognize that profitability and time is an issue for them too.”
Rodriguez said the city wants to continue to push the equity issue in pursuit of being more inclusive. LCP will train contractors and city staff. A one-time payment of $76,071 will be made by the city. After, an annual fee of $42,223 will be covered by the Law Department.
Rodriguez said this software is just a piece of the entire puzzle, but it definitively makes things easier for the city and contractors.
“We also recognize on the other end, that part of that process is making sure that we have support for the minority and women owned firms so that they’re selectable and viable companies that the majority (of) contractors can partner with,” Rodriguez said.