Minority and Women Business Enterprise Virtual Workshop

minority women and business enterprise workshop in rocky mount nc

During these unprecedented times, meetings and workshops have required a bit more creativity in order to safely comply with the North Carolina Stay at Home orders. That’s why the city took a recent workshop from the meeting room to ZOOM during a workshop for the Minority Women and Business Enterprise (MWBE).

By utilizing the virtual meeting application, the event was able to take place on April 24 as scheduled, despite Covid-19 in the community. The topic focused on how to navigate city contract opportunities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we operate on a daily basis,” said Candice Kirtz, the city purchasing manager. “What hasn’t changed is the city’s dedication to increase outreach to the MWBE community. This MWBE Virtual Workshop allowed the Purchasing Division to do just that through remote training.”

Highlights of the Workshop

There were several topics of interest featured at the workshop. Presenters included:

Candice Kirtz, a Certified Local Government Purchasing Officer who has worked in public procurement for eight years The topic of her presentation was: “Navigating City Contract Opportunities,” where she outlined the city’s procurement processes for obtaining contracts.

Denise Barnes, the regional diversity manager for LeChase Construction, gave important information on the topic of “Navigating General Contractor Opportunities.” She has more than 14 years of experience in construction administration and diversity management. As part of this presentation, she covered topics such as:

  • Pre-qualification
  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Understanding contracts
  • Working on-site

Maj. Bill Simmons, who gave a North Carolina Military Business Center Overview Briefing,   retired recently from nearly 40 years of civilian and active duty service. His session provided a description of roles, mission and responsibilities required for North Carolina businesses who desired to work with the federal government. 

What is the Minority Women Business Enterprise Program (MWBE)?

Rocky Mount wants to be sure that minorities and women are involved and represented in its purchasing process. This includes allowing them an equal opportunity to participate in the bidding process. They may bid for equipment and supplies, in addition to bidding on construction projects and building renovations. 

The city also provides informational sessions---like the virtual workshop—in addition to one-on-one sessions on past bids businesses may be interested in bidding on. 

What is a Minority Business?

According to the state of North Carolina, a minority business is one that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by those who are a minority or those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. 

Minority groups include:

  • African American
  • Latin American
  • Asian American
  • Native Americans
  • Women

These programs continually ensure that there is no discrimination against businesses due to race, creed, color, religion, national origin or handicap.

Interested in learning more about bidding and doing business with the city of Rocky Mount? Check out information on the city’s Purchasing Division of its website.

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