City of Columbus Updates from the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

2023 Visionary Awards – May 4th
March 3, 2023
Diversity in Business Awards Honoree K. Zulene Adams
March 22, 2023
2023 Visionary Awards – May 4th
March 3, 2023
Diversity in Business Awards Honoree K. Zulene Adams
March 22, 2023

City of Columbus Q1 2023 WBE Updates from the Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 11:30am
City Representatives in Attendance: DaWanna Allen
Meeting facilitated by: Deonna Barnett

DaWanna Allen oversees outreach and engagement for the City of Columbus Office of Diversity & Inclusion.  Since the last meeting, Jason Jenkins has been named Director of the Office.  To ensure he is available for our meetings, the Update meetings will need to be changed from Tuesdays at 11:30a to another time.

WBE Updates

In 2022, $18M was spent on contracts for WBEs

  • 45% for WBEs in construction
  • 64% for WBEs in Goods & Services
  • 5% for WBEs in Professional Services

The City would like to increase participation in the Goods & Services industry as well as Professional Services.

There are now Interactive Dashboards on the City’s website to provide you with insight on the City’s Supplier Diversity program.  View here:

WBE Goals:

MWBE goals will now be set for projects over $100,000.  The city defines MWBEs as the following:

  • MBE – minority owned business located within Franklin County
  • WBE – woman-owned business located within Franklin County

Any minority or woman-owned business located outside of Franklin County are considered EBEs (Emerging Business Enterprises) . They are working on defining workspaces such as CoHatch an option for businesses needing a city address.

To determine MWBE goals on projects, they take a survey of the # of businesses in Franklin county using the U.S. Census Data, local databases and other reports to determine a percentage based on the businesses available.

Cross Certification:

The City of Columbus will recognize Ohio WBE, WBENC and other certifications. However, you will still need to register with the City as a vendor and complete the City’s WBE application.  The application will be shorter because your existing certification will not require you to complete all the steps. You will be put on a fast track to receive your City WBE certification.

The concern to apply for multiple certifications with the city, state, and others was addressed. Who determines how the certification process is conducted, the rules and the laws are outside of ODI’s jurisdiction. One the call: 3 City WBE certified businesses; 5 non-City WBE certified businesses

Vendor Profile:

Your vendor profile with the City is very important to receive and be identified for opportunities specific to your business. Be sure to use as many NAICS Codes and Capability Codes as possible that relate to your business and its products/services.

City Conference:

In the last meeting, it was requested that the City hold another conference or event to bring small businesses, vendors and purchasing agencies together.  The City does not have a City conference planned to date.  They are awaiting their Operating Budget to be approved. The Mayor will address the Operating Budget at the State of the City Address on 3/21/23.

Other Updates:

  • Mayor’s State of the City Address 3/21/23 – Will address the Operating budget which will determine what projects will be funded. This will give you insight on the departments that may issue contracts and bids.
  • The New chip plant will cause the development of water projects. Keep an eye out for that.
  • Department of Development issued grants last year in conjunction with Franklin County. Any additional business grants would come from the Department of Development.
  • Intel is not accepting City or State certifications for their supplier diversity initiatives. They are accepting other major certifications from other entities such as WBENC, NMSDC, etc.

Action Items for Next Update Meeting:

  1. How can we see the companies who received contracts from the City on the dashboard here:
  2. Have Director Jenkins on the call to introduce himself to the group and share plans for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  3. Invite Tia Roseboro on the next call to discuss the issues and barriers of applying for multiple ( city, state, and other) certifications for one company.
  4. Jeanne Gokcen will apply for the City Certification to time how long it takes to cross certify


Next City of Columbus Update Meeting TBD. Register here for Zoom login credentials: