The Equity and Inclusion Department oversees the MWDBE Program. The MWDBE Program provides maximum opportunities for minority, women, and disadvantaged business enterprises (MBEs, WBEs, and DBEs) to participate in county contracts, assists disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) to become certified with the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PA UCP), and provides services and resources to help them grow their businesses.
The program objective is to ensure that all MBEs, WBEs, and DBEs are given the maximum opportunity to obtain and perform on contracts. The goals are 13% for MBEs and 2% for WBEs, and remain in effect throughout the life of each contract.
Allegheny County expects all bidders and proposers to demonstrate a good faith effort to include MBEs, WBEs, and DBEs when bidding on county contracts. Allegheny County provides contract compliance and oversight, technical assistance, and acts as a certifying participant for the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PA UCP).
History of the MWDBE Program
The program was approved by the Board of Allegheny County Commissioners on June 18, 1981. The commissioners at that time were Tom Foerster, Chairman; Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., Commissioner; and William R. Hunt, M.D., Commissioner.
Initially, the program was an office housed under the Department of Administration, under the leadership of MBE Administrator Charles Harris. In the spring of 1988, the County Salary Board approved the creation of the Department of Minority Business Enterprise/Affirmative Action (the original name) under the leadership of the first director, Alma Coles. The first chairman of the MWDBE Advisory Committee was Reverend Robert Boulden. The department was later renamed the Department of Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. In January 2020 the Department was again renamed the Department of Equity and Inclusion.