Our mission is to ensure equal opportunity and fair play in the procurement and contracting processes of Essex County through our efforts in the following areas.
In 2002 before entering office, Joseph DiVincenzo established an Affirmative Action Committee as part of his historic 200-member Transition Team. The Affirmative Action Committee conducted a thorough review of the County’s Affirmative Action policies and practices and recommended the new administration create an office dedicated to Affirmative Action.
When DiVincenzo took office on January 1, 2003, he established the Office of Cultural Diversity and Affirmative Action. The volunteer members from the Transition Team’s Affirmative Action Committee remained involved with the DiVincenzo administration, transforming their role into an Advisory Committee for the Office of Cultural Diversity and Affirmative Action.
While creating the Office of Cultural Diversity and Affirmative Action was a good first step, the County Executive realized more needed to be done to promote equal opportunities within the County and an official Disparity Study needed to be performed. In December 2004, the County Executive and the Office of Cultural Diversity and Affirmative Action announced the appointment of a volunteer, 21-member Disparity Study Commission, which replaced the Office of Cultural Diversity and Affirmative Action’s Advisory Committee. This volunteer body was charged with selecting a consultant to conduct the Disparity Study, overseeing the consultant’s activities and progress, holding public hearings and making recommendations to the County Executive and Board of Freeholders.
In October 2005, the County Executive and Disparity Study Commission made public the findings of the Disparity Study and outlined a course of action to make the County’s public contracting and procurement policies and procedures more inclusive of small, women and minority-owned businesses. Work on the landmark report was started in March 2005 and completed in just eight months. This led to the creation of the Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action.
Since its creation, SBDAA has:
The mission of the Essex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action is to position small, women-owned, veteran-owned and minority business enterprises to compete successfully for contracts.
We will take the following actions to ensure that equal opportunity and fair play are standard in the procurement and contracting process of Essex County.
Working with Essex County has been an amazing experience for our company. We have been working with Essex for over 2 years. We are currently engaged on 3 projects. Essex county has made working with them a pleasure, they want to help small businesses succeed. Looking forward to continuing our relationship. My one suggestion for all new vendors, make sure you attend all of their events and build a good relationship with them.