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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 14, 2022 11:45 AM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey and Rep. Regina G. Young
To: All House members
Subject: Ensuring Representative Diversity in Our State Funded Contracts
We must ensure that the contractors and project developers who receive state financial assistance are equitably employing people of color, women, and individuals with disabilities throughout the duration of their contracts. Additionally, most jobs in our state are created by local businesses, not mega-corporations. We must ensure that the contractors and developers who receive this funding are giving our state’s diverse owned local businesses an equal opportunity to participate in these contracts.
Our legislation would require recipients of state funded grants, contracts, and development projects to abide by the terms of an Economic Opportunity Plan. This plan would ensure that financial assistance recipients are providing meaningful and representative opportunities when hiring and employing business owners of color, women, and those who are disabled. Additionally, they would have to ensure they employ a diverse workforce and source their first round of employment from the state’s CareerLink system.
A similar program has seen substantial success in Philadelphia with 60% of the city’s total municipal workforce being diverse in 2021. It should be noted that since the program’s implementation in 2009, the city has consistently seen a decrease in the city’s unemployment rate, despite a growing population. It is time we expand this program to the state level.
In the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year, Pennsylvania spent $4.2 billion on state awarded contracts. Only 20% ($838 million) of that money was received by diverse and local owned businesses. These numbers do not even account for the large corporations that received funding from state awarded contracts last fiscal year. We must ensure that these diverse businesses have an equal opportunity to partake in state funded contracting projects.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation to ensure that the workforce the Commonwealth relies on to fulfill its contracts is reflective of our state’s diversity.