New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) hosted a successful event on how to do business with the NYC Department of Education. The DOE contracts with a vast array of vendors to purchase the goods and services necessary to ensure that students have all they need in order to receive the quality education they deserve.
Dozens of residents, who attended the event on November 5, 2018 at PaNash Restaurant in Jamaica, learned how small businesses and Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) can build relationships with the DOE while identifying subcontracting opportunities.
"As the father of MWBEs, having authored Local Law 1 and Local Law 129, during my time in the City Council and as the Chairman of the Senate's Taskforce on MWBEs, it is very important to me to match local entrepreneurs with business opportunities that can help them grow and prosper. It's good for the community and the economy. The DOE has a wealth of contracting possibilities, and I want to make sure that all of you understand the process and have a chance to participate."
The guest speaker at the event was Adam Wexelbaum, Diversity Specialist, with the Diversity Management Unit of the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity Management at the DOE. He explained the agency's procurement process, which includes contracted and non-contracted work, and the use of a vendor portal where one can register to be on the DOE's bidder list which matches them with opportunities, informs them of requirements and allows them to download necessary documents.
Wexelbaum also explained how to submit competitive, successful bids and proposals via RFPs, RFBs and MTACs, directly to central and program offices, directly to schools, in coordination with DOE grant opportunities or under under prime vendors through subcontracting opportunities.
The DOE does not require MWBE certification, but encourages it, because it allows for a number of benefits including exposure to procurement officials, listing in directories and guides, access to business courses, individual assistance, networking and tax cuts.
The DOE is the nation's largest school system and has a $25 billion budget, over 1,700 schools, over 1 million students and over 130,000 employees.
To participate in DOE MWBE diversity meetings and seminars, email OEODiversity@schools.nyc.gov