students wearing hard hats

In Denver Public schools, Equity is one of our Shared Core Values. And as we invest taxpayer dollars, its also good economic sense. This is why the Business Diversity Outreach Program is an essential element to our bond program. Our goal is to increase the participation of diverse businesses historically underutilized in our bond programs.

33% Utilization of M/WBE Firms

In February 2015, the Board of Education recommended and aspirational goal of 24% utilization for facility design and construction services. We are proud to share that we have exceeded this goal within our first year. Our utilization as of November 2015 was just over 33% for all bond funded construction and design since the launch of our goals program. This meant $8.55 million to MWBE firms in just eight short months. We look forward to continued collaboration with our stakeholders to ensure inclusive contracting practices.

Establishing Equity Goals

DPS is committed to a transparent and collaborative process for setting and monitoring the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) participation goals that guide the award of contracts related to school improvements funded by the 2012 Denver bond. Business owners who reflect the diversity of our school communities serve as part of a committee that recommends goals for each project that are based, in part, on the availability of MWBE firms relative to the projects scope. The nine-member committee provides the recommendations to the Executive Director of Facility Management, who approves the goal on behalf of DPS..

The MWBE contract goal is then listed in the competitive bidding process. Each contractor’s MWBE utilization commitment is reviewed and scored by the projects selection committee. Based upon their commitment and other criteria, the selection committee awards the winning contract. At the completion of the project, a DPS Diversity Compliance Officer determines whether the contractor met the goal.

Aspirational Goals Exceeded

Denver Public Schools is committed to engaging business partners who reflect the diversity of our school communities. Thats why, in November 2014, the DPS Board of Education adopted the Equitable and Inclusive Contracting Policy (Policy ACE). This policy led to strengthened efforts to increase Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) participation in contracts related to school improvements funded by the 2012 Denver bond.

In Their Own Words: Contractor’s Testimonials

HCL Engineering and Surveying

Lloyd Herrera

Mr. Lloyd Herrera, President and Founder.

“We appreciate the outreach that DPS is making to provide opportunities for the small

business community. I believe the message is being heard. For example, I just received a call

from Larsen and City Architects, a firm we have never worked for in the past. They invited us to participate on an early education project in the Far Northeast and we provided them with a proposal for civil and structural engineering. As a result we are currently collaborating with their firm on the project. I strongly believe there will be greater opportunities presented to the small, diverse businesses community in the future.”

–Lloyd Herrera, President and Founder, HCL Engineering & Surveying

Latcon Corporation

Father and Daughter Duo: Bradelynn Garcia Montoya, Project Coordinator and Mr. Reggie Garcia, President.

Father and Daughter Duo: Bradelynn Garcia Montoya, Project Coordinator and Mr. Reggie Garcia, President.

“DPS has given small businesses such as Latcon many opportunities to achieve our goals. My goal and our goal as a team is to get the highest amount of minority participation for this school and for the community. I truly believe there’s many minority small businesses [and] contractors out there that just don’t know how to work with big companies. They are afraid to get in there. They don’t have the bonding capacity. They don’t have the cash flow. They are afraid to take the next step out there and I think the mentor-protege and what we’re trying to accomplish with your goals and the way DPS is promoting that is really key for our future”

–Reggie Garcia, President, Latcon Corp.



How to Do Business with DPS

Goals Program

Contract Compliance

Disparity Study