Spartans arriving on campus next week may notice that the construction phases of UNC Greensboro’s new Nursing and Instructional building and new Chiller Plant are well underway. What may not be as obvious is that these projects recently surpassed their goals in providing economic opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE).
The Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) program at UNCG is part of a statewide initiative to help MWBE contractors and vendors build contacts and foster growth and profitability for their small business.
To receive HUB certification, businesses must be 51 percent owned by minorities who self-identify with one of the following demographics: Black, Hispanic, Asian-American, American Indian, Female or a Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Person, Disabled-Owned or a Disabled Business Enterprise.
The state of North Carolina has a goal of 10 percent HUB participation for all major construction projects completed by state agencies.
The Nursing and Instructional Building is at 32 percent, and the Chiller Plant is at 36 percent.
Together, the two projects have provided over $25.3 million of economic opportunities to businesses that are most in need.
“We started to set the bar higher in the last five to 10 years,” said Tony Phillips, UNCG’s HUB coordinator of facilities. “We started to realize from a university standpoint, there were bigger opportunities, so why look at 10 percent as a baseline?”
Phillips wanted to split the Nursing and Instructional Building and Chiller Plant into two projects, each with its own HUB goal, to ensure more business for minority contractors.
“We wanted to demonstrate that we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk.”
Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison, University Communications
Drone photography and videography by Grant Evan Gilliard, University Communications