Port of Houston units new range requirements for enterprise contracts

The port is joining a growing number of local and regional bodies interested in updating policies to increase the participation of minority and women-owned companies. (Courtesy of the Port of Houston)

The Port of Houston heads of state and government on July 22nd celebrated a new effort to diversify the businesses they have signed.

The new initiative aims to increase the representation of minorities, women and companies that enter into sub or main contracts with the port. The Port Authority has created a corporate equity division with the aim of getting a 30 percent stake in minority and women’s businesses in the port-led projects, said Roger Gunther, Executive Director of Port of Houston, at a press conference to announce the efforts.

“The commitment is there and we are very much looking forward to success,” said Gunther.

Regional leaders in attendance, including Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, pointed out the comprehensive plan to deepen and expand the port through dredging to include more of these companies.

The port is joining a growing number of local and regional bodies interested in updating policies to increase the participation of minority and women-owned companies. Harris County’s commissioners and the board of directors of the Harris County’s Metropolitan Regional Transit Authority last year developed guidelines to increase ownership of these companies.

“With what Port Houston is doing, what Houston has done, with what the county is doing now, combined with what METRO is doing now, this ecosystem is just picking up speed,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The City of Houston has had a business opportunity and specific contract requirements office since the 1980s; City council members, however, have been looking for ways to improve it. The Houston City Council’s Economic Development Committee reviewed possible updates to its policy in December 2020; however, no specific changes have been made yet.

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