Disparity study reveals Travis County's contracting of minority- and women-owned businesses

From Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018, the county spent over $139 million on contract work. Around $17 million of that was paid to historically underutilized businesses.

From Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018, the county spent over $139 million on contract work. Around $17 million of that was paid to historically underutilized businesses.

Last fiscal year Travis County spent 12.44 percent of its total expenditures on contracting work to hire minority- and women-owned businesses, according to a Nov. 27 disparity study briefing at Commissioner’s Court. Disparity studies help reveal whether an entity is hiring historically underutilized businesses, or HUBs, for contracting jobs.

From Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018, the county spent over $139 million on contract work. Around $17 million of that was paid to HUBs.

“I’m glad to see that the HUB utilization overall is going up, but our goal needs to be a greater percentage increase,” Commissioner Brigid Shea said.

In context the county has hired a similar percentage of minority- and women-owned businesses over the past three years.



Subcontracting payments may not be reported until several months after a job is completed, according to county documents. Therefore, HUB payments may increase for FY 2017-18.

Of the HUB payments, prime contractors made up 84 percent of the dollars—or around $14.6 million—and subcontractors received the remaining 16 percent—or $2.7 million.



“The thing that just jumps off the page is the [women-owned] businesses,” Commissioner Gerald Daughtery said. “I mean the women are taking over the world.”

Last year Travis County hired 107 HUBs—including 11 new groups—as prime contractors and 48 HUBs—including 12 new businesses—as subcontractors.


In other news






Flood recovery proceeds in Travis County
Nearly all Travis County neighborhoods affected by October flooding have had debris removed, said Eric Carter, Travis County chief emergency management coordinator. Nov. 30 will be the last opportunity for routine pickup.
Should residents need further assistance after Nov. 30, call 512-854-9433 for flood-related debris removal. New construction and repair debris is exempt from the free county service.





STAR Flight hangar proposed to be named in honor of nurse killed on duty
The Travis County STAR Flight hangar, at 7800 Old Manor Road, Austin, has been proposed to be named after Kristin E. McLain. McLain served as a Travis County STAR Flight nurse for more than 7 years. She died during a helicopter rescue mission in 2015. With the commissioners' unanimous approval Nov. 27, Travis County Historical Commission will review the proposed name Dec. 12. In early January the commissioners will receive comments from the historical commission and consider adopting the name of the building.


By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.


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