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Pennsylvania Launches New Policies to Increase Diversity Among State Contractors

first_img June 15, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Pennsylvania Launches New Policies to Increase Diversity Among State Contractorscenter_img Economy,  Equality,  Press Release Continuing his commitment to small businesses (SBs) and small diverse businesses (SBDs), Governor Tom Wolf announced new procurement changes to improve opportunities for minority-, women-, LGBT-, veteran- and disabled-owned businesses ¬– to compete for state government contracts and succeed in the commonwealth’s economy.“This is another important step forward in the ambitious project my administration launched five years ago to open doors for small and diverse businesses in state contracting and to make the process more inclusive and diverse,” said Governor Wolf. “We have made progress, but there is more work to do. We cannot allow some people to be shut out of a chance to get a state contract. Our economy and our communities work best when everyone has a fair chance of success.”Today’s actions are the direct result of the governor’s Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and in Pennsylvania’s Economy executive order signed in 2015. The order created the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO) within the Department of General Services, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities and led to the 2018 Statewide Disparity Study which examined disparities in the commonwealth’s contracting system and made recommendations for improvement.“These policy and program changes will allow us to increase opportunities for small diverse businesses in state contracts,” said Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper. “Historically, the state contracting process has been uneven, inconsistent and unfair in providing opportunities for SBs and SDBs to do business with the commonwealth.”There are three new changes taking effect.First, each competitive state procurement will use goal setting for SDB participation on each solicitation with the intent to achieve a 26.3 percent state contract spending with SDBs .The goals are determined using an analysis and calculation of the percentage of DGS verified SDBs available to do the specific work as determined by the Disparity Study and other factors. Goal setting replaces the previous scoring process used to evaluate proposals and starts today for construction solicitations over $300,000 and on August 17, 2020 for goods and services solicitations over $250,000.Second, the department has set a goal of 4.6 percent of state contract spend to veteran-owned businesses through the new Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) program as recommended by the Commonwealth Disparity Study. To increase the availability of VBEs, the commonwealth will now consider a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprises as both an SDB firm and a VBE firm. This consideration is granted providing the applicant holds approved third-party certification from the Veterans Affairs Vets First Verification Program and eliminates the need to go through an additional third-party SDB certification process. The department will consider contract-specific goals for VBE participation on each individual solicitation over the dollar thresholds identified for SDB goal setting, and the VBE contract specific goals will be calculated based upon availability of VBE firms.Third, the administration has tasked all state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction to have at least 15 percent of their contract spending go to eligible, state-certified small businesses through the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program. The program helps all DGS-certified small businesses to compete as prime contractors on state contracting opportunities. Each agency has an executive-level employee responsible for ensuring the goal is achieved.“We are committed to achieving the commonwealth’s goal to do 26 percent of our business with small diverse businesses has truly been a group effort,” said Deputy Secretary for Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities Kerry Kirkland. “Through the hard work of the Bureau of Diversity Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities staff along with the Advisory council and our legislative supports, we are positioning our small and small diverse businesses for success and sustainability in our economy.”Kirkland praised the hard work of the BDISBO staff and involvement of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Small Businesses Opportunities has led to the implementation of key policy and program changes such as: using the best value contracting method to increase SDB participation in contracting opportunities; creating the Agency liaison Program to ensure that SB/SDB contracting opportunities are part of all annual commonwealth agency purchasing plans; and creating the Mentor-Protégé Program that pairs prime contractors and/or suppliers with DGS-verified SDBs to provide developmental assistance and help them successfully solicit and perform on commonwealth contracting opportunities.Visit the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunity for more detailed information on the new policies and programs as well as the Wolf Administration’s efforts to diversity state contracting and opportunities for small and diverse businesses.Ver esta página en español.last_img read more

Week 13 NFL picks against spread: Patriots survive Vikings; Steelers stop Chargers

first_imgThe Saints can stop the run well enough to contain Ezekiel Elliott and have more trouble with teams that throw the ball deep. The Cowboys can slow down Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, and they have Byron Jones to win some battles with Michael Thomas. This game, then, comes down to which QB can better diversify the offense beyond his primary weapons, and the past couple weeks show that player is Drew Brees, New Orleans’ venerable future Hall of Famer.PICK: Saints win 27-20 but fail to cover the spread. RESULT: Cowboys win 13-10.Last week’s record straight up: 12-3Last week’s record against the spread: 9-6Season record straight up: 105-55Season record against the spread: 76-80 There’s good reason to believe Week 13 will be a lucky week of NFL game picks. First, we’re coming off a strong Week 12 with a lot of confidence. Second, we’re saying bye to the bye weeks with 16 chances for more success.With that behind us, here is our fearless forecast for all the matchups, including a trio featuring all playoff-positioned teams. (Game lines courtesy of Bovada.) MORE NFL PREDICTIONS:Week 13 NFL picks straight upWeek 13 NFL picks against the spread(All times ET)Game of the Week: Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots (-6)Sunday 4:25 p.m., FoxThe Vikings have not been as good on the road, and the Patriots have played their best at home. But Minnesota’s defense is stacked enough to make this more of a grind for Tom Brady. And New England’s defense has enough holes for Kirk Cousins to exploit with his talented wideouts, plus Dalvin Cook and Kyle Rudolph. Cousins will duel will Brady well, but the X-factor here is special teams. That’s how the Patriots will win a close one.PICK: Patriots win 30-27 but fail to cover the spread.AFC Game of the Week: Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)Sunday 8:20 p.m., NBCThe Chargers will be without Melvin Gordon, and that will put Philip Rivers in a lot of pressure-packed passing situations trying to keep up with Ben Roethlisberger, who probably can’t wait to let it rip again in the much more comfortable confines of Heinz Field. Big Ben will feel his share of heat from Joey Bosa and LA’s pass rush, but his wide receivers will come through better against tough cornerback matchups than Rivers’ weapons will against Joe Haden and Mike Hilton.PICK: Steelers win 27-23 and cover the spread.Lock of the Week: Los Angeles Rams (-10) over Detroit LionsSunday 1 p.m., FoxThe Rams are coming off a needed bye to get Todd Gurley well rested for the stretch run, and they just saw the Bears pick apart the Lions with a versatile, quick passing game. Matthew Stafford is having plenty of issues without some key receivers (and without running back Kerryon Johnson), and Aaron Donald and the rest of Wade Phillips’ pass-rushers will be able to tee off in the second half once Gurley and Jared Goff give LA a sizable lead.PICK: Rams win 38-14 and cover the spread.MORE: Updated NFL playoff pictureRest of the WeekArizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers (-14.5)Sunday 1 p.m., FoxThe Packers can’t buy a win on the road, but they have taken advantage of weak opponents at Lambeau Field. The Cardinals can cause a few problems with their pass defense, but their coverage away from Patrick Peterson is a mess, and they still haven’t fixed their run defense enough. Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones will provide another balanced, explosive combination, this time in victory.PICK: Packers win 34-17 and cover the spread.Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons (-1.5)Sunday 1 p.m., CBSThe Ravens are trying to create mystery at quarterback with Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson, but if Flacco is healthy, he needs to play, because a mostly running approach won’t work on the road against the Falcons like it did against the Bengals and Raiders at home. Matt Ryan will continue his strong non-playoff season, as Baltimore is not deep enough defensively to handle all of his targets. Atlanta will begin its late-season spoiler stretch with a bang.PICK: Falcons win 24-20 and cover the spread.Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-5)Sunday 1 p.m., CBSJosh Allen has given the Bills a spark with his fearless passing and running. Ryan Tannehill has given the Dolphins’ offense new life, but they are hard to trust running the ball, which is needed to beat Buffalo. Miami will be gashed on the ground by both Allen and LeSean McCoy, and Tannehill will be set up for big mistakes against a good pass defense.PICK: Bills win 23-17.Carolina Panthers (-4) at Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday 1 p.m., FoxThe Panthers have dropped two straight critical games to lose their wild-card position and have only one win on the road this season. But there’s nothing wrong with Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and the rest of the offense, and there’s nothing the Bucs can do to stop them. Carolina’s defense has sprung leaks, too, and has been worse on the road. Jameis Winston will allow Tampa Bay to hang around, but it will fall just short at home.PICK: Panthers win 30-27 but fail to cover the spread.Chicago Bears (-4) at New York GiantsSunday 1 p.m., FoxThe Bears should get Mitchell Trubisky back, but the quarterback will have less of an effect on this game than one might think. They will spread the ball around and find great matchups for their short-to-deep receivers all through the Giants’ defense. Then their own defense will do the rest, putting its energy into stopping Saquon Barkley first and then letting Khalil Mack go hard after Eli Manning to force multiple turnovers.PICK: Bears win 23-10 and cover the spread.Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (-6)Sunday 1 p.m., CBSBaker Mayfield won’t be intimidated back in Big 12 country, and he will be up to task of a duel with Deshaun Watson. Nick Chubb and Lamar Miller also will run well to help turn what might feel like a defensive struggle into a game chalk full of big plays. Watson at home is easier to trust, plus Houston has the pass-rushers to thwart a comeback effort by Mayfield.PICK: Texans win 27-24 but fail to cover the spread.Denver Broncos (-4) at Cincinnati BengalsSunday 1 p.m., CBSThe Broncos are coming off impressive wins over the Chargers and Steelers, and this matchup lines up even better for them with Von Miller and their defense coming on strong just in time to contain Joe Mixon and tee off on Jeff Driskel. The Bengals’ defense is a total mess and has no answers for Philip Lindsay, Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton. Vance Joseph will keep his seat cool, and Marvin Lewis’ will get warmer.PICK: Broncos win 24-14 and cover the spread.Indianapolis Colts (-5) at Jacksonville JaguarsSunday 1 p.m., CBSThe Colts have incredible momentum with Andrew Luck and their young, spirited defense getting better and making key stops every week. They look locked into nailing an AFC wild-card berth behind the Texans in the South, while the Jaguars are going through the motions with a severely underachieving defense, a fired offensive coordinator, a suspended Leonard Fournette and a benched Blake Bortles. Indy will do whatever it wants in this game.PICK: Colts win 34-20 and cover the spread.Kansas City Chiefs (-15.5) at Oakland RaidersSunday 4:05 p.m., CBSThe Chiefs needed some rest after that marathon of a game against the Rams to get Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce refreshed. They can do whatever they want against their archrivals, who offer nothing in the way of run stopping or pass rush. Kansas City’s defense also will be a little healthier to clean up against Derek Carr in the second half.PICK: Chiefs win 38-14 and cover the spread.New York Jets at Tennessee Titans (-8)Sunday 4:05 p.m., CBSThe Jets don’t have the rushing attack or receiving firepower to cause the Titans consistent problems. They also have been more vulnerable against the run of late, which should set up Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry to have a nice combined rushing game. Marcus Mariota will stay hot and this time get help so Tennessee can get back to .500.PICK: Titans win 26-17 and cover the spread.MORE: Updated NFL power rankingsSan Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-10)Sunday 4:25 p.m., FoxNick Mullens has crashed down to earth with things depleting around him, and the 49ers’ defense is discombobulated, too. The Seahawks are still leaky defensively, but that won’t be an issue against the 49ers. Seattle’s offense is hitting another gear with Chris Carson and Russell Wilson, who will have their way against anything San Francisco does to counter. Seattle will continue its NFC wild-card march.PICK: Seahawks win 31-16 and cover the spread.Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)Monday 8:15 p.m., ESPNThe Eagles have rediscovered their power running game with Josh Adams, and it has helped protect their problems on defense. The Redskins don’t have the wide receivers for Colt McCoy to exploit Philadelphia’s depleted secondary. On the other side, Washington’s secondary can’t cover Zach Ertz or Alshon Jeffery.PICK: Eagles win 24-10 and cover the spread.Game of the Midweek: New Orleans Saints (-7.5) at Dallas CowboysSunday 1 p.m., Foxlast_img read more