Building opportunities for D/MWBE

by Estella Swartout

Welliver is a victor of collaboration with disadvantaged, minority, and women owned companies (D/MWBE). As a general contractor and construction manager, Welliver is cognizant of D/MWBE and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requirements in all bidding situations. We are seeing an increase in requests to meet the D/MWBE goals. In these situations, Welliver uses the New York State database along with Welliver’s proprietary D/MWBE vendor database to reach out to certified companies in the region which match the scope of work needed for that particular project. We recognize the importance of including as many D/MWBE companies in our bidding process to ensure a high level of participation. If the requirements cannot be met, it is also important that Welliver has proof of adequate “good faith efforts” and communication in our attempt to find certified D/MWBE’s for any project. Several of our projects, such as the Hill-Rom/Welch Allyn Inc. Warehouse Expansion, Rochester Institute of Technology Magic Spell Studios, and Schuyler Hospital Expansion, have D/MWBE and EEO goals with state, federal or grant funding associated with the contract.

As a project administrator, I know from experience that monthly D/MWBE and EEO tracking is an important task for any active project. We communicate regularly with New York State to ensure all reporting data is tracked and entered into the NYS Tracking Database as soon as each monthly audit opens. EEO workforce tracking and D/MWBE payment reports are required each month. EEO workforce reports are used for employee tracking purposes to show diversity in the workforce. D/MWBE payment reports are tracked to ensure all D/MWBE companies are being paid efficiently and on time. It is critical that everything is monitored accurately and all paperwork is compliant and submitted. Funding is only distributed to the Owner at the end of the project if the goals and good faith efforts have been met.

Welliver strives to engage with all D/MWBE organizations no matter the classification of work, giving all companies an opportunity to bid competitively. Welliver’s due diligence in all bidding situations is important to be successful and to be prepared for any project requirements which are known to change at any given time. When we have successfully fulfilled all requirements for the project, I get a feeling of great satisfaction when I receive the completion email from the New York State Compliance Contact Division. In my opinion, Welliver goes above and beyond to make our customers and our subcontractors feel comfortable and confident in their work, not only in the field but in the office as well.

Estella brings more than a decade of experience working on projects requiring D/MWBE and EEO participation and knows her way around state, federal, and grant funding regulations associated with contracts. As a seasoned project coordinator in the construction industry, Estella is an integral member of the project team from start-up to close-out. Her contribution to the project’s success includes accurate project documentation, timely communication with client and team, and administration of up-to-date project intel. Detail oriented and highly organized, Estella has applied her knowledge of D/MWBE and EEO data tracking and reporting for numerous clients including Schuyler Hospital, Wayfair LLC, and Hill-Rom/Welch Allyn Inc.