Growing Together: Introducing Intentional Conversations about COBID/MWESB Partnerships
Sparked by discussions in PAE’s internal Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee, PAE put together a series of conversations with our COBID peers to answer questions and explore ways to support and learn from each other.
Noun | co · bid [ kō - bəd ]
- Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity.
- Oregon’s new system for certifying minority-owned, women-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned business owners and emerging small businesses interested in contracting with state, county, and city government agencies. Formerly known as ‘MWESB’.
- An important and sometimes difficult contract requirement aiming to correct industry-wide disparities in ownership of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction firms.
Cultural awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are on the rise in the wake of social and economic shifts. The construction industry is heating back up as we see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel. As the pace of our work and pursuits accelerate, our industry is facing an unexpected set of questions, and the opportunities for progress that they pose.
How do we meet the increasing requirements for COBID participation in projects? And, more importantly, how can we go beyond minimum contract requirements to meet the spirit of the COBID program?
Sparked by discussions in PAE’s internal Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee that I lead, we’ve put together a series of conversations with our COBID peers to answer these questions and explore ways to support and learn from each other.
Meeting COBID Requirements
I am looking forward to having our first of three roundtables, starting this Wednesday, to discuss these partnerships, laying the groundwork for our ongoing conversations. Through this series of gatherings, we aim to create strong relationships with long-term and new partners and play an active role in transforming and diversifying our industry.
Moving forward, our two additional roundtable events will cover ‘Lessons Learned’ and ‘Brainstorming Solutions’. To share lessons learned, we will participate in an authentic conversation on successful and less than successful project deliveries, and the high-fives and headaches during project collaboration. The brainstorming session will build on the discoveries and connections in the prior talks to help us shape the path we can all take forward.
We don’t know yet how these roundtables will conclude, what practices they will manifest, only that these conversations are necessary and valuable to our industry. I’m excited to learn from my peers, and look forward to hearing from participants on key takeaways.