Furthering its commitment to incorporating diversity, equity inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) into county business practices, the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners have approved a resolution to set aside, or otherwise allocate, 20% of the dollar value of all the County’s contracts for goods and services in a fiscal year to minority-, women-, veteran-owned and small businesses.
Under the Set-Aside Program, the County will make a good faith effort to award contracts directly to, or encourage primary contractors to award subcontracts to, Qualified Business Enterprises which are defined by State law as Qualified Minority, Women, Veteran, and Small Business Enterprises. Additionally, a disparity study will be conducted by the end of calendar year 2024 to assess the economic success of minority-, women-, veteran-owned and small businesses within the County and to determine how the Set-Aside Program can better serve the business community.
“As one of the most diverse counties in the nation, Middlesex County has long recognized the need to have our internal and external functions, policies, and programs reflect the diverse community in which we live. To that end, the designation of 20% of our procurement dedicated to minority-, women-, veteran-owned and small businesses, is a key milestone in our journey to incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging principles into our business practices,” said County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios.
The creation of this program stemmed from a broader diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging study being conducted by a professional firm — Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro & Murphy, P.C. – to assess fairness across Middlesex County’s practices, policies, and procedures, and to develop an enterprise-wide DEIB implementation strategy.